EXCAVATING THE FUTURE
The title of this exhibition of planted ceramic sculptures is a reference to Mike Davis’ 1990 book City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, a history of the urban geography of Los Angeles. It is said that Los Angeles has two modes: sunshine and noir. Davis’ history details the utopian dreams that shaped the development of the city, as well as its dystopian urban trends first evidenced in this unique metropolis. This abstracted cityscape of hand-built orthogonal ceramic forms and succulent plants is inspired by Los Angeles as well as other cities of the past and future. Like Los Angeles it is both dystopian and utopian at once, a vision of a green future in which nature and architecture are seamlessly integrated, and a vision of the human-made world after humans.
BLADE RUNNER MEETS Bonsai
The exhibition is a scaled down cityscape of brutalist architectural forms overtaken by vegetation. It is designed for long term installation in an outdoor space like a courtyard, outdoor art gallery, sculpture garden or other semi-public space for appreciation by a public audience. The installation needs to be long term (two months or more) to allow for the plants that populate it to settle and grow into their surroundings for the intended effect. This is a living, small scale landscape, not simply an arrangement of plants. The configuration of the planted ceramic sculptures enables people to walk in amongst the installation to appreciate it as a sculptural whole and at the level of individual plants and objects. In Bonsai and the associated artform of Saikei, natural living and inorganic materials are used to evoke trees and landscapes at a much larger scale. My planted ceramic sculptures are a contemporary essay in this tradition, in a design language inspired by urban cityscapes. Like them their scale is fictive, evoking places and landscapes both imaginary and real. Also like Bonsai and Saikei, these forms offer some of the aesthetic satisfactions of contemplating entire landscapes at a scale that can fit in a small space.
What i’m looking for
This exhibition proposal builds on previous iterations of my concept of planted ceramic sculpture inspired by architectural forms, which I have been conceiving and making since 2016. I am now looking for exhibition partners and sponsors to help me realise this proposal for a larger scale public exhibition.
1. I am looking for exhibition venues that could host this installation.
As shown here, the installation requires a minimum space of 3.6 x 4.4m or 12 x 14 feet.
Venues might include -
art galleries with outdoor sculpture galleries
or any commercial or cultural venues with publicly accessible outdoor spaces, courtyards or atriums suitable for the display of this installation.
2. I’m also looking for sponsorship funding to realise this installation. I’m particularly interested to work with sponsorship partners whose activities and ethos overlap with the concept and ideas suggested by this work:
Urbanism and the future of cities
Urban greening and eco-technologies
Climate change and climate change adaption
Futurology and strategic foresight planning
Horticulture, particularly growers of succulent plants, with which the ceramic sculptures are planted.
I believe that what I’m making is a new synthesis at the boundaries of art, sculpture, landscape design and horticulture. It promises a high visual and experiential impact for viewers and strong media coverage. It would work as an arm of a PR strategy through coverage on media and social media in fields which overlap with its thematic content and aesthetic.
get in touch
If any of this vision resonates with you, and you or your organisation could be interested in working with me to realise it, please reach me at email@example.com.
#excavatingthefuture #ceramicsforplants #plantedceramicsculpture #rowlandbyass