These drawings of St Abbs Head National Nature Reserve, Scotland, were produced soon after the first national lockdown was lifted in the UK. The nature reserve appealed to me for its striking contrast both to Qatar’s arid climate where I had been living for several years, and to months of lockdown spent inside or taking local walks only.
The area has a rich and diverse ecosystem, with tens of thousands of guillemots, gannets and razorbills nesting each summer. Minke whales, dolphins and seals are frequently spotted in the surrounding waters. The close proximity of large man-made structures, such as wind turbines and a nuclear power station, heighten one’s awareness of the fragility of this ecosystem.
Historic wooden cog from the Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum, St Austell, UK
Display at the San Fransisco Art Institute (SFAI), MFA Exhibition 17 – 27 May 2019
This work is inspired by historic wooden cogs from the Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum, in St. Austell, UK. The wooden cogs are hand-made positives from which steel cogs were fabricated using sand casting techniques at the nearby Charlestown Foundry. The resulting cogs formed components for the drilling and water pump systems used to mine and sift out impurities from the clay.
I was interested in casting the object using the very material the cog was designed to process (kaolin, the primary component of porcelain), to create a feedback loop between product and tool. 3D printing techniques were used to create positives for the plaster molds for this process, drawing connections between contemporary and historic industrial processes and materials.
Porcelain cog, celadon glaze
Fragmented porcelain cog
Joined cog teeth and lids
Fragmented porcelain cog centres
Porcelain cog teeth
Ten photographs exhibited at Qatar Contemporary: Art and Photography, St Petersburg, Russia, (19 Nov – 10 Dec ’18) as part of Qatar Russia 2018 Year Of Culture.
Recent work this summer at SFAI Fort Mason explores the transformation of mass-produced materials such as foam and polystyrene, materials usually associated with local and global transportation, into porcelain, wax and plaster, with an interest in one material taking on the appearance of or masquerading as another.
Stacked polystyrene blocks, porcelain
Cast of polystyrene shape, plaster
Modular slip-cast porcelain forms
Stacked polystyrene blocks, porcelain
Wax cast and silicone mould
Slip-cast porcelain from dry wall
Introducing elements from the mould-making and casting process back into the work aims to blur distinctions between producer, process and product, creating ambiguity between the finished object, the casting process and the original material.
Using stacked dry wall, an industrial material normally used in construction, as a slip-mould for casting porcelain produced a texture referencing the brutalist architecture of SFAI.
Test piece for slip cast porcelain from discarded polystyrene packaging.
Percussive Excavation at the Doha Fire Station presents experimental works utilizing industrial processes, digital technologies and local resources. It is the outcome of a VCUArts Qatar Faculty Research Grant and features work from Thomas Modeen, Michael Perrone and Ben Barbour.
Gypsum cast from polystyrene; rubber mould
Twelve marble sections from polystyrene
Porcelain cast from polystyrene packaging; green silicone mould
Clockwise from left: plaster cast from polystyrene with rubber mould; 12 marble piece from polystyrene; porcelain sections with green silicon mould; general layout of artworks.
Twelve marble pieces developed from discarded polystyrene packaging.
Dimensions variable, May 2017
Work produced in response to walks around construction sites and places marked for demolition in areas adjacent to my studio in Doha, Qatar. During the walks I collect discarded materials, such as polystyrene packaging, ‘Geofoam’ offcuts, coloured insulation foam and corrugated metal sheeting. Back in the studio these objects are combined, dissected, cast, drawn and photographed, with an interest in how they allude to architectural spaces, or become transformed into something new through these processes, standing as models or maquettes for larger works.
Assemblage from materials found on the construction site, 9 x 13 x 12cm (top); mixed media drawing, 40 x 29.7 (below)
Assemblages from discarded blue and pink insulation foam, 14 x 8 x 20 cm (left); mixed media drawing, 40 x 29.7cm (right)
Gypsum cast using a mould made with discarded corrugated metal sheets, 22 x 17 x 15 cm
4 – 7 April 2017
Drawings and maquettes exhibited at MiSK Art Festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia thanks to Curator Sa’id Costa, and ADD Enterprise. The festival aimed to support and promote the local Saudi art scene. Great experience to show alongside Rachel Gadstone, Zepha/ Vincent Abadie Hafez, Khalid Farhan, Heba Abed, Alke Reeh, Teresa Esteban Gomez, Rashad Alakbarov & Rovshan from YAY Gallery, Azerbaijan, the Tape Art Crew, and more…
Drawings, photos and renders from a 4-day workshop developing concept designs for public artwork with local participants from Riyadh, ages 15-30 yrs.
Timed sketchbook drawing and mobile phone time-lapse video, 25 July ’16
A time-lapse video shot using an i-phone App recorded shadows moving across a blank wall in the early evening, whilst an observational drawing was produced simultaneously of the scene. The intention was to compare how the human eye sees, selects and records visual information differently to a camera.
The wall onto which shadows are cast is the west facade of the Mission Bay Parking structure at 450 South Street, San Francisco, owned by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, designed and constructed by WRNS and Overaa Construction, 2009. The structure has an abstract geometric stucco design on the south facade; perforated aluminum panels veil the north and east facade. The west facade has been left purposefully blank- a research centre is planned for the adjacent allotment, the construction of which would hide the existing wall.