FIVE PLUS FIVE: SCULPTURES FROM CHINA AND GREAT BRITAIN IN HAINAN, HAIKOU, HAINAN ISLAND, CHINA, 2018
BIG WRENCH, 2014 is a rusty stack of blocks; a wobbly pillar in human form that holds onto itself and the horizon.
The body has been simplified to an extreme and evolved into a series of blocks balanced one on top of the other, so that even when not fixed, the stack still stands.
The emotions that I am trying to summon through this work are both the attraction of the horizon and the fear induced by it.
When seen with its legs in profile, the work is simply a perilous abstract column, but turned another 45 degrees, it becomes a body in which the head and arms are clenched like a fist.
The Blockworks series started with an attempt to make the pixel physical. Those early works were made from pre-ordained increments of block size. BIG WRENCH comes from the latest and most evolved of the Blockworks, where a minimum number of blocks describes the maximum amount of tension. Curiously, as the works have become more abstract, the emotional charge has become greater.
The body, translated into these teetering masses, holds onto its internal space while leaning towards distance. There are 15 blocks in the work. The mutual relationship of the blocks is what evokes feeling: small adjustments in the relations between blocks creates the empathy.
BIG WRENCH is made from 1,800 kilograms of iron. Iron is a concentrated earth material: it is at the core of this planet. I want to use it to express the relationship between our body and the material world on which we depend. I want the action of time and the elements to be part of the character of the work and for it to evolve.
The foot block merges into a column to carry the feeling of exposure of anyone who puts their head above the parapet and therefore sees further than the average person. BIG WRENCH is not heroic but evokes the vulnerable position of anyone under public scrutiny.