7 September - 7 October
Limnerslease Woodland, Watts Gallery, Compton, Guildford, GU3 1DQ
From Humble Beginnings is an art installation exploring the materiality of clay and its use through history as a building material. Artist Steven Edwards has used a mixture of raw and fired clay intending the work to evolve over time. The clay installation stretches around 30 feet, rising from the floor to a peak at the centre in reference to drawing clay from the earth and using it to construct. The narrative sections of the piece begin with the unearthing of clay and its changing states when exposed to ‘weathering’ through moisture hydration and dehydration. The clay is then drawn from the ground and manipulated to a vertical wall of mathematical bricks and tiles that interprets the influential Surrey vernacular building style – an important language of place, that has developed over time to accommodate the values, economies and cultures that produced them. The final section recedes back to ground level. The seam becomes fragmented, referencing deterioration and documenting a history of the changing landscape.