Sculpture is the best comment that a painter can make on painting.
You begin with the possibilities of the material.
My name is Jood Gough and I am a painter and print-maker. Jas and I have decided to swop mediums for this show, so he, a sculptor, is tackling the unfamiliar 2D, and I am tackling the scary 3D. I chose clay because I like its malleability. I can push clay around, a bit like paint and print.
I thought I might do figures (I’ve made a four or five small ones over the years). I then thought I might do something which involved making impressions of objects in slabs of clay, like preparing a mould. Neither of these things happened, partly because it’s been so cold and the bags of clay have been very large heavy solid COLD lumps. How was I going to get it soft and pushable?
So on Day 1, I had to sit on the floor and tear off little lumps of the stuff. After a few moments I got interested in those torn shapes, the tear was nice somehow. I encouraged it. I encouraged a twist too. Nice. Then I started to smooth parts of them, encourage other parts to be even more so…
I had a bit of gorse root – turned upside-down it looks like an ancient gnarled tree. I’d brought a box of shells, bones.. The blue of the mussel shells is beautiful against the terracotta…I press some into the clay, a little like boats. Little bones, even my precious bird skull, so fragile and lovely, are incorporated…Other shells too, pinks, creams….
Make imprints of some other shells, make patterns with my fingers…How thin can I get the clay before it crumbles? not as thin as porcelain clay, but try, even so.
These last few weeks since Christmas, I’ve been making tiny clay heads during life drawing sessions – only four so far – would such detailed pieces work with the torn and moulded pieces? At the end of the making time, I decide to keep them separate anyway, and display them on the wall, looking down on the other clay pieces.
At the end of Week 1, Jas asks me to put all the pieces in a circle for a photograph. Only a small circle, but that’s ok I think…
It’s Week 2 and really I’ve only got today to finish. I try making something bigger – a heap of the remaining torn pieces. It doesn’t look good.
I pick up a piece and start working on it. It’s turning into a pebble. I make more. It reminds me of a very large heap of pebbles I saw in the early ‘80’s on the Isle of Inishboffin, of the west coast of Ireland. A retired local fisherman spent his days contemplating the sea, philosophising with passersby, and building a circular mound of circular pebbles which had been washed up on the nearby shore. He invited us to find suitable pebbles and add them to this sculpture – for that was what it was – a lovely pebble-shaped mound of lovely sea-smoothed pebbles.
So I continue with my clay pebbles, and pile them at random as though the sea has just washed them up on the beach.
These photos were taken nearing the end of the residency – Jood had some ‘little helpers’ too 🙂
Jas and Jood’s work so far . . .
Jas Davidson, sculptor. He makes figurative sculpture in various media – somehow drawn from a potent mix of folk-lore, landscape and how he fits into them. His work is definitely not pretty, though it is about beauty – “hard real beauty – the sort that can hurt”.
Jood Gough, Shropshire-born painter and printmaker. She is trying to make things that talk about the land and about our minds – how and where the two fit together – if they do.
These two Oswestry-based artists will be working in the Screamin’ Chicken Gallery during the first two weeks of February, and the Gallery will then be showing the results from 15th February to 3rd March.
But Jas Davidson will not be making sculpture – he will be confining himself to 2D,. And Jood Gough won’t be painting or making prints. She will be tackling the solidity of clay.
Wondering what will come of that?
Come and see!
Feel free to come into the Gallery, watch Jas and Jood at work, and ask questions.
The Gallery is open at the usual times: Wednesdays through to Saturdays, 11 am to 3 pm. And it’s possible you’ll catch them there at other times too.