It is idiosyncratic science, from the personal to higher tech in application, that informs Andrew Drummond’s new show “from a private site, objects”...
from a private site, objects
November 26 - December 21, 2013
Measuring Devices in gilded gold, copper and platinum stand tall and teetering, but looking up seem still to 'sniff the breeze'. They wobble, vulnerable and beautiful, whilst alongside, coal fines are tightly packed into vertical columns of perspex. The natural is confined. Compression and stress can lead to transformation – which is how coal slowly becomes diamond. Wood has been made precious. For Drummond, this conversation is crucial. It is this dialogue between materials and form, between things at once organic but also manufactured, which drives his practice.
The consequence of action I – IX is a suite of small delicately poised wall works. They are dioramas seemingly whimsical and arcane. But their atmospheric black grounds hint at something more sinister – the consequences of inaction, perhaps. Relics of industry, such as (coal pit) wheels, fragments of railway track, stick bundles, and balls are caught in time, suspended in a shallow space of roof, box and frame. Stripped willow sticks (perches upon which to contemplate?) offer platforms for sphagnum moss, slate and coal. LED lights gently illuminate these deft and intimate little scenes, reminders that for each and every action there will someday be a reaction, a counter, a consequence for what we have chosen to do, or not to do.
Ocular Device is a proposal for a major work. Like a giant eyeball, a stainless steel sphere 900mm in diameter rotates and tumbles in a film of pumped water. The whole sits in a cradle with four pairs of computer controlled jets changing the sphere’s motion at will. There are stunning reflections from every angle, but it is the sheeting of water off the sphere’s surface that is a wonderful surprise. As the sphere spins and slows, water slides differentially from the surface creating a moving film that ripples in waves of beautiful and varying viscosity. Ocular Device will perform both indoors and out.
Rotating Forest, a free-standing indoor work, rounds out the show (quite literally). Here stands the specimen cabinet from hell. Like the proverbial skeleton in the closet, fourteen thick branches of stripped willow, each the creamy colour of bone, rotate, counter-rotate, and occasionally jostle one another in a compressed space. Their slow intimate movement is mesmeric and eerie. Light pulses through a fibre optic central core flaring a 'starry sky' above, while beneath, encased in an underworld of sphagnum moss, light(n)ing intermittently flickers. Dante here comes up against a high-tech Victorian baroque. Haunting reliquary this might be, but imaginatively it is a tour de force, and a warning that all is not quite as harmonious as it might seem. Bearing witness to the difficult beauty of this sculpture, might just be like standing before the end (or even the beginning) of the world.
Details of works
Measuring Device (Gold) 2013, mixed media, 2600 x 400 x 200mm