I have always had a deep interest in archaeology and palaeontology. This fascination with what lies beneath the surface of the earth, and the traces left by humans and other living creatures has manifested as an exploration into mark making, one made difficult through hot glass which can never be touched directly. This led me to cutting glass in order to come into more direct contact with its surfaces.
Marks left behind show traces of a life lived, whether scratches on fossils indicating a battle, or the marks left on an 18th century goblet — they present us with a moment encapsulated in time, and this idea completely fascinates me.
In a consumerist culture like the one we find ourselves in, marks, and the human element are often hidden in the objects we use. Nothing is eternal, or meant to last, as we can simply upgrade and discard. ‘Battutosaurus’ is made with this idea in mind.
‘Battutosaurus’ is conceived as a representation of the tensions between the handmade and the industrial, the technological and the crafted, the lasting and the fleeting. The sculpture is created through a combination of CAD drawings and water-jet cutting, and then worked by hand using traditional Italian lathe cutting techniques to create texture and rhythm.
In today’s world, we often find ourselves struggling between the value of the handmade vs industrial production, evident even in the art world with the dominance of figures such as Jeff Koons and Damian Hirst, who rarely have direct contact with the making of their work. ‘Battutosaurus’ is an attempt to bridge that divide; he is made using a combination of modern technology, and techniques that have existed for centuries, and is both universal in appeal, and personal in conception.
I chose the iconic children’s puzzle as the form for the sculpture in order to create a narrative that includes not only histories of the earth, but also our own more personal stories. Its popularity and the relationship many people have to it instantly triggers memories of childhood and nostalgia. However, although it is a representation of a dinosaur, it’s more specifically the skeleton of one, which adds a slightly darker twist to what is, at first glance, a fun innocent toy. The interplay between childhood and death in the same object evokes everything that comes between - life, its successes and failures, achievements and dreams lost, and how these broader themes can be presented through objects.