In recent years the cardboard box has appeared as a symbol of production and consumption. It is a vessel, created from wood fibres, that transports goods through increasing global networks interconnecting billions of bodies.
Insects have evolved over millions of years to create their own technologies by pulping and processing wood fibres. The insect is often seen as an unwanted, infesting figure when it enters human space, but insects utilise wood fibres from dying trees as opposed to living ones, turning death into growth.
G - R - O - W - T - H featured strange forms made from foraged cardboard which had been pulped by ripping, soaking in water, then blending by hand until the individual fibres begin to separate. This breakdown of form turns the material from a rigid object into a shapeless soup. Leftover pulp water appears to seep through the walls. Waste is not buried underground, but comes back to haunt us, tenaciously pushing through cracks in the room.
What we see as a decaying room, symbolises a room being reclaimed by life. The walls are alive and the walls are dying. Growth is death, and death is growth. G - R - O - W - T - H continued to evolve everyday accumulating more materials: becoming a ‘living’, consuming, growing, space.
In G - R - O - W - T - H, a new material potential is explored through the reconstitution of waste cardboard. Combining narratives of consumption with insect behaviour, this exhibition draws connections between what growth means for both human and non-human species.
Used cardboard boxes have been soaked in water and gradually ripped by hand turning into a pulp. Then a small amount of raw, found China Clay is mixed in. This mass is then moulded into sculptural forms, also by hand.
Cardboard Pulp, Clay.
Maddie Rose Hills
G - R - O - W - T - H (Video)
Maddie Rose Hills