PHOTOMONTAGE 1 / FOTOMONTAJE 1
STUDIO 1 / ESTUDIO 1
48 x 24 cms.
Sponges and garden wire
Sponges and garden wire
STATEMENT about SPONGES
My current work with sponges that are used for washing dishes arose as an unexpected discovery from out of the daily labour of domestic cleaning.
At first I was attracted by their colour palette of pale blue, rose-pink and green; different from the yellow and green colours I was familiar with in Chile. Given my condition as a foreigner having just landed a few days ago in London, this mundane article became an object of curiosity that I encountered day after day.
While I wash up one plate after another I can see the beauty and potential within that ordinary object that is always available to carry out the daily task of the washing up.
The first step in researching the material was to try folding it in different ways, tying it with sewing thread, then afterwards with the green wire that is used by gardeners to help hold plants upright. The wire allows me to fix the modular shapes that I build with the different folds of the sponge. On the other hand, from the material point of view, I became interested in putting the sponge into relationship with cement, a material that is opposite in colour, texture and weight, and sets up a tension with its soft “feminine” nature.
Materiality and technique are mixed together from a socio-cultural and emotional perspective, which made me read the sponge not only for its limitations (a utilitarian object that gets rid of the dirt), but also as a flexible and adaptable material with absorbent capacity which related emotionally with my current feelings: a Latin American woman from Chile in this tremendous city in ferment, whose only mission is to be flexible and adaptable, absorbing every new stimulus just like a sponge.
In the same way I weave socio-cultural and emotional associations with the concrete. As an element of basic construction, but one which can count on its self-sufficiency and stability to raise itself by its own weight without the need of auxiliary wires, it possesses sufficient weight to hold itself up solidly despite its limitations as a none too sophisticated material.
So, the work is articulated like distinct threads in a complex cloth that crosses the sponge-cement materials with my emotional biography, gender roles and everything that can exist between the multiple cross-combinations.