3.1; Research: Victoria Ferrand Scott

Ferrand Scott’s sculptures cast in plaster and concrete are minimal. The surfaces are polished smooth and the shapes are organic and sensual. I feel quite reverential towards the sculptures, torn between wanting to touch and afraid to reach out.

Restraint (2001) reminds me of a Georgia O’Keeffe landscape. In both cases the bulges are curvaceous and feminine, line is eliminated and definition is provided through light and shadow.

Restraint is an installation, arranged in a grid format that naturally appealed to me.  Looking at how the modules are formally arranged on the floor reminded me of Whiteread’s Untitled Floor (1992). Having spent several months during Part 2, considering how to join elements within a design, I now seem to be attracted to those that interact more freely and are interconnected only by the space that travels around them.

The open space between the components is where the similarity between these two seems to end. Whereas Whiteread incorporates the marks of everyday wear and tear, Ferrand Scott seeks a flawless surface. This use of perfection has been counteracted by the spontaneous shapes that gravity has pulled the casting material into.

I enjoy pattern but am beginning to appreciate how highlighting certain features can disturb rhythm to dramatic effect, for example: the subtle variation in shape and height of each cluster of peaks in Restraint. In ‘Pointers for the Next Assignment’ my tutor advised:

“Push yourself to keep exploring imperfection and irregularity.” 

I learned a lot about when and how perfection can be used, by comparing these two artist. If Whiteread’s finish was as smooth and polished as Ferrand Scott’s her sculptures would lose their reference to humanity. If Ferrand Scott’s surfaces contained pocks and flaws this would detract from the subtlety of the forms.

My plaster investigation in Project 1, actually drew more from Rebecca Fairley’s work than Ferrand Scott because the domes I created included texture and loose fibres. In Project 2, when the casting medium is contained within a vessel, I hope to create some smoother shapes that focus more on form than texture. This will give me an opportunity to explore the link between perfection and imperfection.

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