This exhibition was a response to the immediate material world around me when I began to work in Xiamen, China. I used objects that come readily to hand - fragments of brick found on the beach or mops bought in the local shops. These become starting points for sculptures that invite the audience to consider the poetic possibilities of everyday objects.
The largest work in the exhibition, ‘Tierra del Fuego’ (‘Land of Fire’) is constructed from thousands of brick pebbles. Each day as the tide retreats over Xiamen’s beaches fragments of ceramic brick and tile are left on the sand. Worn smooth by the waves, these man-made stones suggest the existence of an older city constructed not of glass and steel but of brick and tile. Now consigned to the sea, its buildings are pounded by the waves until its fabric is ground with the shells and stones on the ocean floor and becomes sand.
Tierra del Fuego was the name originally given to the remote and unknown land at the tip of South America, where passing sailors could see mysterious fires burning. In the sculpture, the inspiration has been both romantic legends of lost cities, but also the view over the sea from the artist’s balcony in Xiamen where industrial chimney stacks on the mainland are visible. This fantastical creation is a reminder of the passing of time and the strangeness of ‘other places’.