For the next two weeks I have the pleasure of assisting Fabrica’s newest exhibition Cluster by Annemarie O’Sullivan. I’ve helped with Technical Production for 6 months now, mainly with video art installations, so I was particularly excited to get involved with a sculpture based installation.
Working with materials so carefully is wonderful, all the structures are held together by tension once the clamps are removed, so a slight misalignment can throw the balance of the structure, or at worse destroy it. O’Sullivan has immense craftmanship that I can only aspire to, an incredible understanding of the materials she is working with (sweet chesnut) and a passion that stems from a calling toward creating her work.
Talking to her at lunch I discovered that she actually studied Sports Science at Loughborough, and then went on to teach at a Primary School. O’Sullivan’s turn towards sculpture was born from a want and need to do create, to go outside and work with natural materials, and from this she has a great knowledge of the local natural landscape. She then went on to make outside willow sculptures and structures, and then to study a City and Guilds in Basket Making. This is the first time that she has honoured this craft on this scale, and I’m looking forward to the final arrangement of these winding cocoons. I may have sanded the prints from my fingertips (You can’t wipe off chalk marks, as the willow can’t get wet) but I’m looking forward to seeing it develop into a final installation.