Object #12

Dimensions: 77 – 51 – 32 mm
Weight: 89 g
Materials: Reconstructed lapis lazuli
Origin: Made
Year: 2016

Until now, study and observation of the qualities and fragilities of materials have been my main ways of working. I have been simultaneously investigating two different classes of materials: natural stone and all kinds of artificial materials. The differences in origin and material qualities between the two have been an inspiration.

On one hand, a stone is always a unique element in the sense that in nature there are no two the same and once a stone is cut, this action is irreversible. Stones are full of lines and fractures, they have their own internal rules. Moreover, working with stone means being confronted with a world of qualities that vary, surprise and sometimes frustrate. Stones have been in the earth for billions of years and through the process of transformation are unpredictable and therefore difficult to understand.

By contrast, the reconstructed material is a massive industrial block. In this case, the idea of uniqueness is lost as no matter where the material is cut, the result is always the same. Whereas with natural stone the starting point differs each time, in this case the material is predictable and easy to control. For me, stone is an object of admiration which represents the idyllic image of nature, whereas the artificial material functions as a blank sheet of paper, devoid of personality, where I can reinvent the observations I have made in the natural world.

The balance between something provoked and something uncontrolled is intriguing. After a long period spent observing and feeling how stones break, I started provoking fragilities and tension points myself to find out how the material would react. The resulting pieces are fractures, inscribed in a landscape which both develops and liberates through the will of control and simultaneous release. Unarguably, technique, material and concept support each other strongly and progress simultaneously. Most of the time, the contrast between the heritage of the old craft and the new materials, or the combination of contemporary techniques and ancient materials create a tension in the work and lead me to find different images and new meanings.

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Helmut Ostler 2021.01.14 1610652720 Germany