Artist Exchange: NEW BRITISH ART
The first exchange between Abstract House and New British Art (2016) involved fabricatiing a machine, from which a large clay bell was pressed. Mark Halliday and Darren O'Connor began a long drawn-out process in cold wet February and after several returns to the foundry, transported a plaster mould to London in late May.
'Marcio Mello asked me to make a bell for Terra Prometida/Promised Land in August 2015 when he was given permission from Samir Yazbek to translate the play into English. I had not considered making another bell until then; the previous two had proved too difficult and were unresolved ultimately
We collaborated with director Ramiro Silveira and together decided the bell should implode spontaneously during the play so part of the event would be beyond our control. This might throw up questions we were not ready for
In October New British Art, UTSHA Foundation (Bhubaneswar, India) and Abstract House decided to connect via a series of residencies. I spent this time with Mark Halliday at New British Art making a mould for the bell
I produced a number of sculptures and tested various methods for expediting the drying out process using heat and fans. On the day of the dramatic reading at the Brazilian Embassy, August 12th the bell had been sited in the gallery for 4 days; there were several advanced cracks developing, which were causing not a small amount of anxiety. I connected two small fans, rescued from discarded computers, to two 14 volt cordless drill batteries; hung one through the top of the bell and ran the second underneath along the ground. A very faint whirring was audible throughout the reading but the bell did not collapse (sadly)