Floating sculptures

In art it is surely good sometimes to turn everything on its head just to see what happens.  A year ago I was working in plaster. I was quite pleased with some of the results but they had one big drawback – they were so, so heavy. I could just about shift the smaller ones by myself but with the larger ones I definitely needed another person to get on the other end and the person volunteered for that task invariably moaned a  bit. They, the sculptures, not the people, were awkward  to store and virtually impossible to get up stairs even with a volunteer. There was one that sat in the hall at home for some time bumping me on the shins whenever I passed. So, when I started the MA at Brighton in October, I decided to work lightweight.

Over the last nine month I have been experimenting. First, I tried suspending things from the ceiling with fishing line, But then I got to thinking how great it would be to dispense with the support and I started wondering about floating sculptures. Here is the result. This piece is called Nostalgia for the Body. In a way these things are an argument for the unlikeness of an after-life. They represent continuing consciousness but while pure thought has some attractions, without a body my beings lack agency, and without agency would not thought alone begin to pall? Without a body they cannot enjoy the sun on their backs, nor food, nor music, nor sex, not even the comfort of touch and so they float in space and try with their minds to imagine the body they have lost.

Sue McDougall: Nostalgia for the Body 2014 (Mixed Media)

What I feel works well with these pieces is the way that they move. In still air they are motionless but a slight draft sets them moving very gently.  For some reason they seem to drift towards people. There is also another piece Untitled.

black floater 002
Sue McDougall. Untitled. 2014 (Mixed Media)

If you would like to see them, you can do so at the Brighton University MA Fine Art Show. It opens on July 3  till July 10. They are on the second floor at Marine Parade.






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