Taking as its form the domestic dresser, a familiar iconic piece of furniture which has pride of place in many homes in both Wales and Ireland, the artist has created a ‘virtual dresser’ using glass, light and shadow.
Starting from the simple sense of delight afforded by stumbling upon a jewel like fragment of porcelain in a muddy field, or on a windswept shore, this work explores the sense of connection that is evoked by these small, broken and often overlooked, fragments of domestic objects.
As part of the development this work the artist ran a series of poetry workshops with poet, Emma Baines, during which people in Pembrokeshire and Ireland were encouraged to write poems inspired by sherds they had found, fragments of these poems, handwritten by the poets, can be seen in the shadows cast in the work.
“The poetry we wrote is given a new fragility and dimension by your artwork.” Ali McGuire, author and creative writing workshop participant, Ireland.
In Fragment Dresser Linda uses glass combined with light projection to exploit the relationship between transparency and opacity achievable by sandblasting clear glass. In a sense the work is the shadows cast by the engraving rather than the pieces of glass themselves. In this way the work explores the tangible and intangible nature of memory and connections with other people times and places. Glass is almost a silent vehicle, the emphasis is on the story, not the material.
Through the medium of projected light, boundaries between the viewer and the work become broken down and the viewer becomes a part of the work as their own silhouette interacts with the piece.
“The switching on of a light triggers deep memory, or a fleeting life, that can’t quite be grasped or held onto. The use of suspended glass, shadow and poetry fragments also evokes something precious and precarious that could shatter at any moment; a layering of time or ideas whose language is also splintered and where the onlooker appears in silhouette to form their own part in some indefinable memory or moment.” Emma Baines
Fragment Dresser explores what is there, and what that reveals of what is no longer there. In essence the work imaginatively investigates powerful human connections across time and landscapes. These tiny shards provide a portal into other lives and places, and journeying there inspires us to reflect on our own.
This work was made during a residency funded by Ancient Connections, a EU funded cross-border arts, heritage and sustainable tourism project,and formed part of Sift, an exhibition which also included work by other Ancient Connections resident artists Séan Vicary, John Sunderland and Sylvia Cullen
It is currently on show in my studio in Pembrokeshire.
Read the ebook of poems featured in this work.
Click here to see a video of the installation.
Click here to watch a short video clip documenting the making of this work.
Click the links below to watch two videos of poetry written by participants in the sherds poetry workshops: