DAMOCLES, 2019 – ongoing bound stone series, sculpture, with wool fibers. Exhibited suspended in air, occasionally on pedestals.
The Damocles sculptures allude to power, bonds, ties, and war. Stones have a rich history in and of themselves, being from the earth and of matter, their relationship to human beings started before being wielded as tools. Used for cultivating fields or warding off enemies, stones have also been culturally used to punish and abuse. For the complex associations with stones, they are used in this ongoing body of artworks created to look with curiosity at the nature of doubt, fear, dread, and anxiety. Tied together by soft fibers, only knots and structural tension to hold the stones together. The colour choices of thread are often made with reference to the source of the stones. The site of the stones’ origins is important to the cognitive experience of the sculptures. Though pigments have dynamic and varied cultural associations, the pigments refer to the actual conditions the stones were sourced from, for example: plowed fields bound by brown thread, porous stones from streameds bound by blue, and road or horse trail stones bound by twine such as that used in basket weaving or leash making. The bound stones are suspended in air, wielding an experience foretold in The Sword of Damocles, where the experience of welding power comes with great pressure or anxiety. The bound stones suspended, or on pedestal, reference relationships of power in individual lives, such as friendships, marriages, and business contracts. That which binds separate entities requires trust. Fibers can wear out due to varying factors, while others grow tighter or smoother over time. Vulnerable to tension or cutting, the stone entities rely on the fiber to remain in contact. Damocles (tied stones) project began during The Trélex Residency in February 2019, after years of rumination, and has continued for years after, and many more to come.