Persistent bodies, 2018
Materials: Salt, with ceramic or steel core.
Collection: University of Salford Art Collection
The ten cylindrical forms of cast salt in Persistent bodies lie like broken fragments of a column or a broken length of spinal bone. Each piece is solid in its crystalline form, whilst remaining sensitive and vulnerable to environmental changes. The work references the story of Lot’s (unnamed) wife who was turned to a pillar of salt when she defied the angels and turned to look back on the burning cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:26). In opposition to the intention of this biblical story, the piece infers in it the subversive potential of bearing witness, the importance of looking back, and of the archives of somewhere like Glasgow Women’s Library.
The work developed through a research residency at Glasgow Women’s library, co-commissioned by Castlefield Gallery and The University of Salford Art Collection for the exhibition Ruth Barker & Hannah Leighton-Boyce at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester.
This series of works explores salt as a metaphor for the physical and emotional body and residue as an archive. The notion of sentiment- the intended belief, thought or feeling behind an act- and sentimentality, led me to explore the potential of salt to reflect on the human condition. Drawing on its inherent properties of division, healing and energy, explore how salt can sympathise with the body in its different forms and formlessness, being strong and crystalline yet simultaneously fragile and vulnerable.
MAP review by Jazmine Linklater: Issues / #43 a gray stone wall damming my stream.