A/r/tographic SculpturesSculptures, as visual art experimentations, have been created for this research to explore the idea of rhizome. The visual language applied to these experimental sculptures has the potential to visually describe some aspects of the rhizomatic relationships that happen between participants during a participatory art and craft project.
The first of these sculptures, Becoming (2017), is constructed of a long single piece of wire that weaves through a piece of rough wood, with organic shaped bead-like objects attached. These objects signify the formed thoughts that the process (represented by the wire) creates. The wire loops show some preformation stages of these abstracted 'ideas', sort of pre-mutations and transient variations on the shapes that are considered as being the outcomes of the process. The more discernible 'pre-ideas' are emphasised with coloured string wrapping. The sculpture is based on an actual conversation. It visually describes the energy flow, and the way thoughts may be transformed during communication that is often invisible in the realm of the rhizome. The same process could be applied to multiple sections of the wood, and as such, this visual language could become appropriate to represent a creative group space.
To explore further the characteristics of rhizomatic communication, the sculpture Discussion (2017) was created. This sculpture is constructed of two parts with a narrative relationship between them. The top part is a winding blackened branch with a natural visual gesture that resembles a growth measure spiral that is emphasised with a string-formation. The bottom part, which also serves as a base, forms a sculptural response to the top part with the added painted shadow. Though this shadow composition is based on some real shadow sketches, it is reworked imaginatively into a somewhat surreal shadow shape that appears to be floating, or even melting, on the base. When viewing it, it is hard to decide whether the branch cast the shadow or the shadow inspired the shaping of the branch, or both processes happened at the same time, evoking an ambivalent story of creation. It describes a cyclic connection at its best, a kind of sculptural 'time-warp', when the time aspect of a narrative loses its linearity and becomes infinitely repetitive. This tapping into the infinite, 'not knowing' aspect of communication is a rhizomatic experience that is expressed by making this sculpture.
Eight Days (2017)
As the next step of sculptural 'renderings', eight wire sculptures have been created to explore the build-up of energy in the group during the Wisening Gate project. The wires were bent according to the perceived energies, based on observations and the records of the reflective journal. These sculptures describe the energy level of each day as perceived by the a/r/tographer, and sculpted sequentially on circular bases, each wire shaped between the 8 and the 4 hours marks.
The set of five sculptures represent the five woodcarving days, whilst the set of three sculptures are the painting days. The different energy pattern of the two activities (i.e. woodcarving and painting the patterns on the wood) is clearly visible in these sculptures.