(Sculpture, 2022, auctioned, Sotheby’s, Oct 18th 2022) porcelain, metal microfixings, springs

Prototype for ‘Unstable’, sold at Sothebys, 2022

This is the original prototype for a series of work I’m working on called ‘Unstable’. It uses the cone shapes that so often feature in my sculptural vocabulary, created in porcelain. They are held together, improbably, with nuts, bolts and washers, and hang on springs, suspended inside each other. The juxtaposition of porcelain with this instability and mechanistic fixings creates tension in the viewer. It can be displayed in multiple positions.

Like much of my work, it involves a tortuous process, and combines seemingly inappropriate materials. There is a tangential nod to the political zeitgeist from my work ‘A Fall From Grace’, however it’s really quite a personal piece, referencing my own mental state in response to that zeitgeist, and the consequences of creating work about it.

There is also a resonance with illustrations of the concept of stable and unstable equilibrium in physics, which typically feature cones. I also feel there’s a sense of the moment just after an explosion in the nested cone structure.

This prototype was created to work through various parts of a difficult process, including the mould making for the slip casting, the glazing of the inside (which for porcelain of this shape is tricky), dealing with micro springs and micro fixings inside the constricted space of the cone, and engineering how it can be placed at different angles successfully.  It is also the first ever piece to have my makers mark. I am still working on perfecting the process.

It was auctioned at Sotheby’s on Oct 18th 2022.