Bamboo and Wood
‘When you bend a piece of wood it is briefly reanimated into a living thing, and you can see and feel aspects of the wood which are not perceptible until that moment; there is a sort of conversation going on between you and the ghost of the tree…’ Charlie Whinney, 2019
Over the last 2 years, I have tried to find the right material (or matter) that would best convey my ideas. These hollow forms could be produced by a wide range of materials but the reason I recently settled for bamboo or wood is essentially for their 2 unique qualities. First and foremost, being plants, they use to be alive, growing, eating, moving and reproducing. Secondly, through rehydration, they can be bent and can retain the form you decide to give them. The bending process re-enacts certain orientations that the plant may have taken when alive to adapt to its environment in search of light, water or nutrients. As such, the process captures the energy the plant would have deployed over a period of time in the past to stay alive. Working with the wood in this way is quite exciting for me because it gives me a sense that the order of things are being challenge and it brings Einstein famous quote to mind that ‘separation between past, present, and future is only a stubborn illusion’. 1955
Assembled pieces of bent wood generate a physical line, which in time creates forms. There is no negative or positive space in these forms, nor is there a defined inside or outside area. It is just space.
When working with an individual wood segment, my aim is to bend it and twist it as much as it will let me – all segments have variable ductility and weakness points. This may be due to how they were dried in the first place and where the knots are. There is a lot of breakage in the process but I try and use as many modified strips as possible to create a form.
My assembling decisions respond to an ongoing rigorous pursuit of visual balance between space and matter, as well as a search for parity between material functionality within the form. Nothing is superfluous. I follow a certain amount of pre-determined rules during this process. The greater the number of wooden segments, the more challenging it becomes to achieve balance.