Peter Ainsworth. Rhizomes, 2012

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Rhizome, 2012 is a recent work in progress that depicts sculptures made of ginger. The objects created are artificial in the sense that each stem is physically combined to make a whole, grafted together with fishing wire and bamboo sticks. In previous projects the production of my photographs has taken place in the landscape. However the relationship between the studio and the landscape as studio space has been a recurring theme within my work, and is perhaps where this new body of work, focusing on tabletop sculptures, stems. I chose ginger to work with having discovered that the plant, in its modern incarnation is not found in the ‘wild’1.. Though the ancient use of ginger pre-dates historical record its origins are uncertain. I found it fascinating that it only exists as a domesticated plant, a hybrid created by human intervention. It is a rhizome; a plant that has horizontal stem; sending out roots and shoots from its nodes. If separated into pieces, each node may give rise to a new plant. The rhizome beyond this botanical description is a fluid and interesting metaphor, not least because of the association with the concept of rhizome and rhizomatic, developed by Deleuze and Guattari (to describe theory and research that allows for multiple, non-hierarchical entry and exit points in data representation and interpretation) and in consideration of Mark Tribe’s website http://www.Rhizome.org; a space for the presentation and conservation of web-based art projects.

 

In Rhizome, 2012 the photographs depict strange and anthropomorphic forms, reminiscent of Yayoi Kusama’s surreal and phallic ‘Association Sculptures’. As the project has developed the photographs have also become referential to experiments in early photography; particularly the still lives Charles Negre completed in the 1850’s and 60’s and are reminiscent of specimens displayed in natural history museums. I have started to use the devise of a perspex vitrine top to contain the ‘thing’, cutting off it’s rhizomatic potential within a specific delineated cubic space. Using this devise refers to debates surrounding the limits of photography as a form of representation; something static, though contained within, and in relation to, an organic system of meanings and interpretation inherent in the viewing of the polysemouswork. A n infinite reading of the qualities of the object. In addition it is perhaps interesting to note that I produce images through analogue technology. I shoot on either 5×4 or 10×8, produce hand c-type or black and white prints. Though these works are often counterbalanced with experimental film, animation, use of digital print technology and web-based presentation the core process still remains. In this context Rhizome, 2012 has become my swan song to an analogue process; a reference to the manner in which photography evolved as a medium; a home-made process that is now reflected in the digital age.

 

The work that I have completed is on a domestic and personal scale; an intimate process of experimentation. Underlying the act of making these sculptures is an intention to make work that interprets modern experience as a series of interactions, where the relationship between objects is resplendent with occurrence and chance encounters. A process of speculation rather than defining an absolute; explored through the creation of sculptural works in a makeshift studio space in a spare room of my house. Where the negatives are developed in my bathroom. As the project progresses the ginger has started to sprout. It is with the knowledge of their inevitable demise, contained in a cardboard box, that the work develops. These forms in isolation, deprived of soil and nutrients will eventually shrivel and die having spent the last of their internal nutrients.

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