RCA2020: Repeat, reuse, recycle, remake, repair and repeat
This collection highlights students whose work explores issues surrounding sustainability – from how alternate materials and processes can support a circularity economy, to demonstrating the human impact on the world.
Her series Tipping Point is based on the ecological fragility of the planet, the human impact on the environment and balance of the coastal landscape. For one project, she took unfired clay and placed it on the coast – recording the performative interactions between clay and sea – returning days later to see if anything of the work remained. She notes, ‘sometimes it has been transformed, ‘a gift from the sea’. I take this work back to the studio and fire it, completing this alchemical exchange.’
Plastified: An Ode takes the form of an animated deep sea dive through a partially speculative ecology, crystallising strange and hidden microscopic life forms. The piece, Alice notes, seeks to ‘foster a space of solace, serving as a salve to experiences of eco-anxiety.’ Through this work we see the digital realm used to speculate on the future of our marine environment. ‘Wherever human plastic pollutants invade, the result is mass extinction.’
Lliw Lleol (Local Colour) is a comprehensive natural dye database, investigating colours obtained from locally foraged common plants and weeds. This database tracks the seasonal changes throughout each month and maps the connection to specific geographies in Hannah’s home of North Wales. Hannah’s research heightens the awareness of how colours and fibres are either grown naturally or chemically synthesised. Hannah hopes that Lliw Lleol will promote ‘conscious consumption, or better still, less consumption of materials altogether’.
rEvolution is about the documentation of material undergoing the repeated cycle of making and destruction. Adrian used eBay to source old pieces of silver – such as a pocket watch and cigar case – for the project. He researched the hallmarks to discover their origin, before melting them down to make new sheet material from which he would produce a series of bowls. Each bowl in the series was cut apart and melted down to make the sheet to make the next bowl in the series. Before destruction each was hallmarked by The London Assay Office, creating an official record of the work, and 3D scanned to reproduce in resin a ‘ghost’ of the destroyed bowl.
The Re-Enlightenment is a monument that makes a recycling statement and invites the audience to rethink whether the rational ideas of the Enlightenment really brought us the wealth we wanted. It is a piece that speaks about the urge of not forgetting our ability of sensing the world through our hands, and not forgetting that our planet is alive. It has the shape of a shell, bio-mimicking the hermit crab’s recyclable houses. It was inspired by Michael Reynold’s Earthships. The initial sculpture was constructed during a residency in Spain: ‘Joya Air’.
Head to RCA2020 to see more from this year's graduates.