Persistent bodies, 2018

The ten cylindrical forms of cast salt in Persistent bodies (2018) 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.

Materials: Salt, (ceramic/steel core)

The work developed through a research residency at Glasgow Women’s library, co-commissioned by Castlefield Gallery and The University of Salford Art Collection. Currently being exhibited in Ruth Barker & Hannah Leighton-Boyce at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester.

This new body of work explores salt as a metaphor for the physical and emotional body and residue as an archive through salts inherent properties in its myriad structural forms and formlessness. 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.

The works are inspired by and made with salt, drawing on its inherent properties of division, healing and energy. The work entwines ideas and materials, echoing the physical imprints and human presence, the traces of labour that felt when working with the archived documents of events, political campaigns and movements housed at Glasgow Women’s Library. The works explore how salt can sympathise with the body in its different forms and formlessness, being strong and crystalline yet simultaneously fragile and vulnerable.






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