Kristian Day is pleased to present Abi Freckleton’s solo show Made Again at Q&C, Cambridge.
Working mostly with experimental ceramic techniques Freckleton explores time through materiality. Using deeply personal experiences, both split second moments and expansive memories, she meticulously dissects their makeup - crushing, dissolving, grinding, burning, melting enlisting processes of physical breakdown and chemical transformation to mine them for meaning. The resulting fragments, shards, fluids and powders are then re-assembled - put back together into piles of rubble that flow and fix in the kiln.
“Matter flows. All things are in a constant state of becoming and unbecoming. Materials move through and embody time and so through them we can reflect on how we inhabit time and place - on our place alongside all living (and non-living) things in the world .....My work starts with moments - moments when I have felt the flow of time acutely, when multiple times have been sensed all at once, where the deep past has existed alongside multiple future potentials, where I have felt empathy, perhaps even unity, with the spaces and things around me.”
Freckleton’s works are collages of fragmented excerpts, the chaotic ruins of moments - sculptures that teeter between the human made and natural accident. Not quite fully formed objects nor simply raw matter, they are on the verge of becoming or of dissolving away. In Freckleton’s unusual approach to ceramics traditional processes are used to break rather than make. The heat of the kiln is used to extract colours, distort surfaces and make things flow rather than simply harden forms and give them a glossy coat.
Each component part has undergone several rounds of processing before settling in its current state. A photograph is copied multiple times then torn to pieces and melted, a puddle’s clay-like matter fired at different temperatures to yield powders of varying hues, a forest’s carpet of pine needle burnt to ash then transformed into a honey glass coating on the surface of a porcelain tile. This process of repetition and superimposing echoes a metaphorical re-layering dominant in her thought process. By recombining a moment with itself, through splitting a whole into parts and then rejoining it again, by spilling it out of its edges and merging it with its neighbours, she is questioning the nature, or even the very existence, of the border between object and matter, between matter and space, between space and time.
Soft flows skirt against sharp reticlinear surfaces, chunks and globules freeze inside a neat rectangular frame, bright transparent sinews cling to rusty wire grids. This intersection of smooth edges, corners and flat planes with the lumpy flux of wild disordered matter recalls the subtle everyday collisions between nature and human that capture Freckleton’s attention. Weeds growing through the cracks in a pavement, the reflection of a sunset in a car wing mirror, the ripple set off by a child’s welly in a forest puddle - moments of interaction between beings and spaces. These moments, often encounters that sit inbetween the spatial and the visual, are where her idiosyncratic collections of matter begin.
Liquid meets solid as glazes melt and fuse fragments. Each work is a coagulation in progress, a momentary gathering of moving pieces - fragments engulfed by rippling pools, tiny grains flowing in turbid torrents, shards interlaced with miniscule droplets. Many of the works are made of the broken pieces of previous works. Some will return to the studio to be broken down and used again. The works, like all things, are just momentary gatherings of matter that will soon disperse, only to be made again.
Made Again includes some of Freckleton’s largest scale works to date but at centre stage remain her small and attentive sculptures that bear witness to the sensitive attunement that she has to these places and moments - one that she has derived from and constantly deepens through her uniquely experimental practice.
Abi Freckleton lives & works in Hertfordshire & London. She studied BA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art. She has held residencies at the University of Hertfordshire and Eastcheap Projects and is currently a fellow at Digswell Arts Trust. Her work has been shown in galleries across the UK including Kingsgate Project Space, Turf Projects, Kristian Day, MK Gallery, The NewBridge Project and Exeter Phoenix Gallery. She is currently studying MA Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art, where she was awarded the Frank Bowling Scholarship.
June 9th - 14th July 2023
Quip & Curiosity
71 Tenison Road, Cambridge, CB1 2EF
Friday + Saturday 12-5 or by appointment