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byRuby Aitchison

Traction explores the friction and the adhesion that is engaged and evidenced in the encounter of one material to another. In the forming of objects, organic matter is combined with another more sturdy material, and through processes of dehydration and its juxtaposition with metal, the organic reacts to and then contracts over the metalwork. The traction reveals what lies beneath the surface of the eggplant’s skin.

The objects in this exhibition evolve around the experimental combination of two chosen materials, eggplant and mild steel, and their interplay is manifested in these tactile forms. These objects, which fit within the hand and have an intimacy related to their emotive material quality, are revelations of the material substance and its transformation. Their small scale asks the viewer to look inwards, and observe the multitude of detail that is of sizeable significance to the interpretation of the work. Interpretation of detail, including the material properties and the processes it has undergone, reveals the unique amalgamations, forms and textures that have been discovered in processes of making.

During the making, and when exposed to the flows and conditions of time during dehydration processes, the contingent organic matter is in flux. The expulsion of moisture leads to a contraction of substance, which has a push and pull effect on the surface and as a response to the metal. In the relationship of materials, the metal disrupts patterns within the organic by locating a tension to interrupt and provoke the natural inclinations of the shrinking process.

Through the process of dehydration, the organic matter and its amalgamation with metal is transformed into a fixed state, and the organic’s temporality is called to a halt, leaving only evidence of it through the surface detail. However the temporal, susceptible nature of the organic remains present.

image: Ruby Aitchison, Untitled, object, 2016, eggplant, mild steel, 48 x 174 x 102mm. Photography by Jeremy Dillon

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