Laura Wilson’s commission, Folds, transforms the gallery at SPACE into an open workshop for the duration of the exhibition. Folds opened on the 12th of January 2017 with a torso-sized piece of Bath Stone on a custom-built workbench and a mass of fresh bread dough draped over wooden armatures. Wilson has been working in the gallery every Saturday alongside two London-based stonemasons, Nancy Peskett and Lily Marsh, to translate the textures and folds of the dough into the stone. The final day of sculpting will take place on the last day of the exhibition and there will be a finissage on Sunday 26th March to view the finished work.
Dough and stone constitute elemental forms of sustenance and abode within most societies. Knowledge of how to mould and craft these materials has been passed on through generations but in the contemporary world the number of people who possess these skills is dwindling. During Folds the transference of stonemasonry techniques to the artist is made public, emphasising the collaboration and time necessary to gain this kind of knowledge. The folds of dough hanging from their supports and the live carving of the stone reference the drapery in classical sculpture and the ghosts of ancient life models and stonemasons. Wilson uses the duration of Folds to highlight the progression of time and the subsequent evolution of the work: the fresh dough decays; skills are learnt; the stone is sculpted; and visitors come and go. At the close of the exhibition all that remains are the folds of dough petrified in the immutable block of stone and the continuation of the stonemasons’ craft.
Laura Wilson (b. Belfast, UK) is an artist based in London. She is interested in how history is carried and evolved through everyday materials and craftsmanship. She works with specialists to develop sculptural and performative works that amplify the relationship between materiality, memory and tacit knowledge.
Wilson’s interdisciplinary and research-based works have been exhibited widely including at RIBA, London; Site Gallery, Sheffield; and SPACE, London (2016); Whitstable Biennial (2014); Camden Arts Centre, London and Turner Contemporary, Margate (2013); and W139, Amsterdam and De Warande, Turnhout, Belgium (2012). She is a current Syllabus II artist and was UK Associate Artist in residence at Delfina Foundation, London in 2016; and the recipient of the Winston Churchill Memorial Travel Fellowship in 2011.