Folds, 2017

Folds, transformed the gallery at SPACE into an open workshop for the duration of the exhibition (13 Jan – 25 Mar 2017). Folds opened with a torso-sized piece of Bath Stone on a custom-built workbench and a mass of fresh bread dough draped over wooden armatures. Working alongside two London-based stonemasons, Nancy Peskett and Lily Marsh, together we translated the textures and folds of the dough into the stone. As the weeks go by the soft dough hardened and decomposed and its form emerged from the rigid block of stone. Beyond the gallery, dough doorstops prop open the doors of neighbourhood collaborators, from Yeast bakery to HSS Hire, and multiply as the exhibition progresses and further connections are forged. The work makes visible the passage of time and the processes of craft and collaboration that transform the material world.

Dough and stone constitute elemental forms of sustenance and abode within most societies. Knowledge of how to mould and craft these materials has been passed on through generations but in the contemporary world the number of people who possess these skills is dwindling. During Folds the transference of stonemasonry techniques to the artist is made public, emphasising the collaboration and time necessary to gain this kind of knowledge. The folds of dough hanging from their supports and the live carving of the stone reference the drapery in classical sculpture and the ghosts of ancient life models and stonemasons.  The duration of Folds highlights the progression of time and the subsequent evolution of the work: the fresh dough decays; skills are learnt; the stone is sculpted; and visitors come and go. At the close of the exhibition all that remains are the folds of dough petrified in the immutable block of stone and the continuation of the stonemasons’ craft.

Commissioned by SPACE, London.