During our residency at Milford House, we developed our ongoing project Growing Sculptures From The Land, where we investigate the landscape through performative sculpture making. Using mud, cloth, stone and sound.
We started from the writings of Schelling about the cosmological intricacies of the system of nature, art and culture, just as much as BBC documentary series Around The World In 80 Gardens, alongside the concrete ideas of borders, nations and communities in relation to mud.
Reading sections from Timothy Morton All Art Is Ecological, Thomas Nail Theory Of The Earth, and Fredric Jameson Archaeologies Of The Future, we developed thinking about co-existence, re-wilding, place and space. We saw the layers of fallen trees and undergrowth growing out of the destruction of the old, into hypercities of bugs and critters, birds and plant life. We have been particularly inspired by the idea that everything emits time, as well as the deep understanding of the existence of others. The work became involved in geological relations between the soil, human culture, and nature.
We performed the making by digging the mud material from the ditches, filtering through the cloth and hanging them on the trees; then tending the sculptures day by day until they were ripe. Plucking them from the trees and opening the cloth to reveal the mud shapes, the fire pit dried them into fragile, cracked artworks. We then transferred the sculptures into the screen so they can travel freely. Finally, we placed the remnants of the physical mud sculptures in the public space of Portumna Forest, where they will participate in the ongoing ecosystem dialogue, decomposing, feeding, being part of the ground.
Here’s our Pragmata Collective artist statement:
Pragmata Collective is engaged in art-making with people things and places that are: sometimes private but relate to public; sometimes personal but relate to social; networked, entangled, technological; performed, prescriptive, perchance; researching, learning.
Pragmata is the collaborative practice of artists Adele Lazzeri and Toby Tobias Kidd.
Adele’s research and art practice revolve around sculptural experiments as philosophical enquiries into the geological-cosmological relations between art and nature.
Kidd’s critical and conceptual art practice is a celebration of the evolving idea through experimentation, futurity, pop-song and dialogue.
Is It Safe To Float
Is a new work created from my time at Milford House. As a listener you are greeted by a voice; I feel like I have nothing to say for this yet…things did happen…there was a plan, a proposal of sorts.
There is a sense of ambiguity, doubtfulness or perhaps a statement of failure that sets up the listener within the first few seconds. As a listener you may become confused, mislead, lost or maybe you find
yourself drifting, not listening to the words, you might hear only the sounds of water, splashing, hitting, or swaying. You might hear a soft, whispery, wavey voice that utters throughout; This is an unfinished work.
Everything you hear within the recording was created using the body, after floating at Portumna, I dragged my freezing body out the water, to try and remember fleeting thoughts. I kept my notebook close, water droplets poured onto the pages, causing ink spillages, torn bits and a pond of incoherent words that resembled water drawings rather than textual things. I spent my time at Milford House floating through these pages, gathering voices along the way.