We’re delighted to announce a new collaboration with the artist Sarah Staton at Furnace Park. More information will follow shortly.
About Sarah Staton:
The idea that sculpture is completed by living presence is central to my practice. I am fascinated by how sculpture becomes animated by living organisms, people, plant matter, technology. Recent public art commissions have provided contexts for developing my practice around this core idea.
Within the remit of interaction between the lived and the inert, I make sculpture that is gloriously tactile & reveals the full potential of materials to invite tactile & physical response. I work with materials that provoke a tangible engagement with the physicality of stuff. I see this as a valuable counter to the pixel screen based, body with out organs type environments that we now inhabit.
My practice delivers a broad debate around how sculpture connects with audience, with power structures, & with durational elements. The work explores experimental & groundbreaking ways to combine traditional materials with new & sustainable technologies. I want to harness this scope by reconfiguring new technology with more traditional sculptural material and sculptural process to create a sculptural object with ground-breaking juxtapositions.
Recent technological advances produce great scope, not only for environmentalists, scientists and engineers but also for artists. Artistic practice will be pushed by creative exploration of new construction materials, this is an area where practice can pioneer thinking about the material world.
Earlier example of working with inert matter and new technologies is ‘XYZ’ an Augmented Reality, partnership commissioned by Site Gallery in 2011. Ostensibly a formal and dry gallery exhibition of big sculptural stuff, cubes of concrete, stone, & wood, with sheets of metal and glass arranged formally in the gallery. When viewed through a smart phone, virtual objects, created as render, augmented this heavy sculptural stuff, making clouds of playful and fugitive digitized simulacra. eg, in one of these works, two large chainsaw carved wooden blocks placed 2 meters apart with a confetti QR code fixed to the top of one block. The code is read by smart phone/AR technology & reveals a rainbow of coloured stone cubes that stretching block to block – virtual marble rainbow.
In 2010 a commission to celebrate the refurbishment of the Crucible Theatre included materially rich giant furniture elements designed to provide meeting places, play spaces as well as focus within the building & aesthetic pleasure. The highly crafted special objects that I designed for this civic context respond to the Crucible’s exceptionally high quality civic architecture.
In 2012 a commission to bring an unused terrace at New Art Gallery Walsall, produced a mix of sculpture, planting & furniture, fabricated in materials & forms that evoke industrial legacy, judiciously placed to transform unused space into a functional beautiful micro environment.
An ongoing work with the title ‘Steve’ is a sculptural pavilion, an off grid sculpture, an urban folly which audience occupy. It is a transformative place, free from commercial or denominational imperatives, Steve is transportable thinking-reflection space. ‘Steve’ is a travelling village hall, a focus around which a number of strategies for engagement can be programmed, an aesthetic object, created from a series of asymmetric planes that lock together like a giant uncut quartz crystal. These complex asymmetric geometries are designed to arrest the eye & contrast strongly with the regimented convention of our fast build city centres. Early R&D for ‘Steve’ was progressed in partnership with University of Sheffield. The ongoing project has input from Scabal Architects, Site Gallery, South London Gallery and Folkestone Triennial.
Sarah Staton, 2013