the weight of the dead

The Weight of the Dead  (2017) exhibited at the Kgorong Gallery, University of South Africa (November 2017 - January 2018). Tree pieces, bolts, cotton sash cord, spotlights, vinyl decals, approx. 4200 x 6000 x 3000mm.

The Weight of the Dead (2017) exhibited at the Kgorong Gallery, University of South Africa (November 2017 - January 2018). Tree pieces, bolts, cotton sash cord, spotlights, vinyl decals, approx. 4200 x 6000 x 3000mm.

The Weight of the Dead (2017-2018) is a site-specific installation which engages with landscape and the increasing concerns being expressed worldwide about the effect of the Anthropocene era on nature and ecological systems - the “Anthropocene” being the measurable human impact on the natural world. I made it in response to my sense of dismay at realising how recent is our collective knowledge about how trees and forests work. Read more about my research in the “essays” page here.

I use pieces of dry tree roots, trunks and branches, a large group of which are suspended from cotton cords or metal cables above the floor and lit so that the shadows cast by the tree pieces and their reflections on the walls, together with vinyl decals simulating shadows, make up a substantial part of the work. The collection of tree “corpses”, suspended between two worlds, inside the gallery space, amplifies the experience of dead nature.

The work incorporates a sound piece, which is composed around two frequencies: 220 Hertz, recently discovered as the frequency of the minute crackling sounds emitted by growing seedlings, and 40 Hertz, the frequency of cut wood. Using sounds from brass prayer bowls and the artist’s voice, humming, it suggests a thoughtful and meditative engagement with the work. Click on the link below to hear the sound element. 

The Weight of the Dead (2017) exhibited at the RMB Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg (July 2018). Tree pieces, bolts, cotton sash cord, spotlights, vinyl decals, soundtrack, approx. 6000 x 3200 x 3000mm.

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