CORRESPONDENCE 01 - ANNA FAIRCHILD & ANDY CLUER
Hyphae Call 1 & 2
(Jesmonite and paint fragments, dimensions variable)
Anna Fairchild is a Hertfordshire-based artist working with sculpture and film using direct casting methods in jesmonite and cement. Fairchild’s work acknowledges inspiration from Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter and parity of encountered objects; ontologically eschewing distinction between organic/inorganic, animate/inanimate.
These two works use my established process and methodology of a balance between control and intuitive working methods, which aim to disrupt a linear notion of time and experience. I have likened this to slices through a tree rather than imagining the experience from bottom to top. The liquid Jesmonite uses a direct casting process, which picks up traces of thin, almost imperceptible layers of paint and other material from previous making process on the casting surface. My intention is that the viewer is drawn into these small, thin, quiet spaces; ‘listening to’ (a kind of ‘sound mirror’ experience) elements and becoming inspired by the imaginative ambiguity of the objects to recollect and re-imagine a sense of place and space in the world.
“I came to the conversations with artist Andy Cluer as part of Correspondence 01 in June 2021. After introducing each other to our inspirations, processes and methodologies over a Zoom call, we began a correspondence by email during June and July. What emerged as a common interest apart from ideas about what the future might hold (we talked about place, space and the film Bladerunner amongst many other things), was ideas of visualizing place and sound and temporal experiences in drawing and sculptural casting materials.”
Hyphae Call 1 & 2, 2021
In his book Entangled Life, 2020, the writer Merlin Sheldrake describes the ‘…most common of fungal habits, better not thought of as a thing, but as a process – an exploratory, irregular tendency.’ (P.7, 2020) Fungal mycelium form networks of what are called hyphae (HY-fee), not centrally controlled by ‘one brain’ but which ‘explore’ through chemical call and response with other animate and inanimate stuff and make up around 8% of all matter in the world. Jane Bennett in Vibrant Matter, 2010 puts forward a New Materialist perspective of a parity of all things animate/inanimate, organic/inorganic disrupting the hierarchical and culturally context bound view of humans at the top of the tree of things in the world. This may include; fungi & plant life; plastic, built environments, rocks, humans & animals; chemical compounds.
Anna Fairchild is a Hertfordshire-based artist working with sculpture and film. Working with direct casting methods using jesmonite and cement. Fairchild’s work acknowledges inspiration from Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter and parity of encountered objects; ontologically eschewing distinction between organic/inorganic, animate/inanimate. The work draws inspiration from such an ontology of objects in physical and social geography; cave deposits and cliff edges; calcium deposit landscapes; a corroded gutter; torn plastic fragments tethered to scaffolding; an ancient igneous rock or coral fossil. Shapes and forms imaginatively and ambiguously remind us of and yet are different from things we know or have seen.
Exeter Phoenix - It Follows, So Passively. Whistling. #1, (2021) graphite pencil on paper
Letchworth Gallery It Follows, So Passively. Whistling. #2 (2021) graphite pencil on paper
Devon-based Andy Cluer works predominantly with sculpture and sound. Interested in the ways we listen to sound, his sonic work investigates place, both real and imagined, through the mapping of memory, sound and perceptual experience.
It Follows, So Passively. Whistling is a depiction of another ‘place’. Not this place, nor there, but somewhere in-between. It is a fraction of its location. It is a segment of something bigger. It is the element of wind.
These drawings demonstrate the visual representation of wind, they are the depiction of this other ‘place’, or ‘world’. They are sound drawings and sound scores, composing; they are playing the audible arrangement through their graphite inscriptions.
This body of work is the start of a new project, building an audible and visual interpretation of a non-existent ‘place’. It uses all my experiences and research of producing works that analyse and reproducing real locations to form this place of new. To some, these drawings will exhibit familiarities to their own life experiences and memories, to others they hold no resemblance. They can be seen as a place both real, or not.
The start of Correspondence 01 came at an interesting point in my artistic practice. This project started at a moment where I felt one body of work had come to its natural conclusion and another was waiting to begin. I had many ideas, some new and some that drew influence from a series of works and different research areas I had explored previously. The conversations between Anna and myself helped to guide me to what it is I am interested in exploring at this moment and how I can combine new and old ways of working – including research areas I had worked with before but put to one side. Our dialogue began through a zoom call and continued across on-going email correspondence. This allowed for us to continue to throw ideas and thoughts to one another throughout the whole of the process. Being able to discuss my practice and our found common interests became beneficial to the outcome. It was a freeing experience to be able to confer ideas around place, space and reference points through sound and visualisation with Anna. To be able to come together with someone outside of my normal art scene has been significant to the development of my practice.
I have worked with this type of drawing before, only once. This style was used as a visual sound score which was then used and read as music to make an ambient drone soundscape. These drawings are only the start of where I intend for them to take my practice. They are the first of visual and sound references of a new place I am interested in developing. They are a very small aspect of what I can see as a possible outcome, but one that needs to be developed over time to allow for natural growth.