CONCRETE+CLAY

 

The similarities between concrete and clay make them suitable but unlikely bedfellows. The plasticity of both materials comes to mind; their stability depends on fire and water. They are extracted from the ground, clay, comes as it is whilst concrete is a mixture of sand, aggregate, limestone and clay, the latter two subjected to high temperatures to produce cement. Fire too will render clay into a more permanent state whilst the addition of water (the antidote to fire) binds the constituents of concrete to give it its fixedness.

Each material yields to human intervention, clay although the more intimate material can also be subject to industrial processes i.e. brickmaking. Whilst concrete is wholly reliant on labour intensive processes on a grand scale so much so that more than half of the concrete produced to date has been poured in the past twenty years. Enough to thinly pave the entire surface of the earth the clay beneath our feet is indeed now beginning to crumble. So much so that our impact on the planet now constitutes its own distinct geological epoch, the Anthroposcene. The period in which humans have changed the earth system sufficiently enough to produce a range of signals of the way we lived that will be preserved in our planet’s geological record. In which one of the defining characteristics of the Anthroposcene will be the concrete fossils that future geologists will unearth.

Concrete and Clay, extracted from the ground and destined to return if not now but some time in the indeterminable future. Waiting to be unearthed by archaeologists and geologists who will pass judgment on the way we lived in the 21st century. This exhibition brings together work from artists to create tangential connections between concrete and clay, the past, present and future, real and imagined explored through sculpture, installation, drawing and film.