Lauren Gault: Lipstick-nasa 31/07/2014 - 27/09/2014
Working across a sculptural, written and performance based practice, Lauren Gault’s installation at Jupiter Artland calls upon her exploration into the intangible or resonant qualities of materials. In particular, Lauren is interested in how matter can move beyond basic ‘material’ properties or capabilities and induce a ‘felt’ time or experience as a form of language.
Bringing together a collection of constructed and found objects, installed in a specifically selected site, Lauren invites us to reposition our relationship to particular materials, allowing for new significance to permeate. Elevating known or ‘everyday’ matters, she repositions these objects as vessels, that in their own way have an uncanniness and a chronology in relation to time and experience.
Within this work, Lauren references the image of a ‘stranding’ (beached whale) as a way to further interrogate extreme ‘material’ experiences. This is described by the term ‘qualia’ – an attempt to define the non-chemical essence or experience of objects/materials; for example, we are able to define the chemical components of water without being able to describe what ‘wetness’ is. Lauren uses this as an entry point to understand how form and matter might communicate narratives, times and experiences.
Developing this enquiry further, Lauren also references ‘spermaceti’ the sought after material harvested from the head of a Sperm Whale. Spermaceti has been used in the production of cosmetics, machine lubricant within the aerospace industry (currently in the Hubble space telescope) due to its stable composition and ability to deal with extreme conditions. The material also has a direct history to the Scottish East coast where many were employed in the industry.
Spermaceti, is a material that has been carried across countless iterations and uses – lipstick to space telescopes, the bodily to time travel. This motif or idea of a widespread material ‘DNA’ poses questions around a materials ability to be felt / encountered- what this type of knowledge or transference might entail, how it may be transmitted and in turn received. As a substance it appears unremarkable, however, through range in use it becomes something extraordinary.
With great focus given to the exact placement of Lauren’s sculpture within the grounds, her ‘boundary site’ allows for a very particular sense of ‘place’ to unfold. Framed by the organic, walled exterior, then giving way to a vaster expanse, there is a distinct sense of the ‘in-between’, a ‘here’ and a ‘there’, which makes the site so rich as an encounter.
Materials: Water, welded PVC, acrylic, volcanic geodes, cast whales tooth (resin), sand (taken from beach Latitude:56.21483612, Longitude: -2.719076872 where 16 pilot whales stranded in 2014), translucent rubber, towels, sandblasted stone from original Bonnington Estate wall, lipstick.
DOWNLOAD: A Conversation Between Lauren Gault and John Heffernan, July 3 2015