Reflective Journal Week 37, 7 June – 13 June 2020

Wave Form

Most recently I gained inspiration from famous sculptor Barbara Hepworth’s work and Constructivist Naum Gabo, and produced a little craft called Wave Form, then follows a series of little sculptures called Sail Forms. The lockdown significantly restricted the useable amount of Cornish salt, which should have been manually extracted and taken back to London. I was forced to mix a certain amount of left-overs to salt that bought from local stores, which I found surprisingly suitable in this case. The Cornish culture, identity and art in my opinion, still require a long process of decolonisation to show its distinctiveness. As it was in this project, the materiality of Cornish salt that being questioned was originally inspired by the difference between Cornish sea salt and other regular sea salt. I believe the former emphasises on the uniqueness of a cultural signature, and this concept has surpassed the competitiveness of massive-manufactured products as an awakening of regionalism. The current dilemma is the difficulty of connecting my practice with the research content. I recon a proper display of such topic that ultimately aimed for a precise interrogation would require a more powerful way of depicting. The Sail Forms, not only inspired by shapes and colours I found in nature but also reveals my fondness of elegant curves of Hepworth and outstretched structures of Naum Gabo.

Sail Form Series
Sail Form 1
Sail Form 2
Sail Form 3

The primary target I found very interesting was from my previous travels to Cornwall and Mark Jenkin’s film Bait. At the very beginning, I had an imagination that a relatively narrowed economic source might cause a further devolution of the region’s industrial structure. It means the wildly growing tourism and real estate investment could massively compress the under-developed manufacturing industry and traditional businesses. The economic structure of the county may considerably rely on outside visitors. In order to maintain a stable financial capability, Cornwall, as it has been stated in many reports and articles, would need to demonstrate a very idealised landscape image that shaped by screen products, post-colonialism and preoccupied impressions of a leisurely destination. The history of the county, especially how its lifestyle was celebrated in the field of art was because of up-country artists’ travels that began in the 19th Century. Turner, Farington and Daniel’s journey pictured a remote land with traditional productive activities. The unstoppable wheel of industrialisation on the other end of England not only generated a mature art market which supplies buyers and demands but also considered these forgotten medieval life-earning methods idyllic and romantic. Then countless artists flooded in the Peninsula and transformed west Cornwall as one of the most successful art colony in European history. 

This inspiration leads to other on-going sculpture projects.

Another major outcome is a residency proposal. Indeed I understand the chance of winning this opportunity is pessimistic, therefore I wrote it as a project structure for future development of salted crafts. 

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About cechenpaints

An artist, painter, illustrator based in London.