Various Artists

Archive Exhibitions (13 July to 8 September 1996)
Ephemeral aspects of art explored through a sequence of works by contemporary artists inscribed and erased in public on a shifting canvas of sand.

Throughout the summer months of 1996, Fabrica was turned into a sand pit with which 15 artists made works of art. Most of the artists were used to working with other materials and the majority were from the Brighton area. Throughout the exhibition, visitors were encouraged to work in the sand pit and add their own contribution to the exhibition or simply play.
The installation enlarged and traced layers from an Ordnance Survey map of Brighton, found in the local library. Part of the OS map was missing, and so a gap was left in the sand map. The projected lines of the Ordnance Survey drawing became lines etched out of a temporary surface, a new ground that over the preceding weeks had been reformed again and again by different artists.

Participating artists include:

Claire Nias, Iain Kettles, Paul Harrington, Louise Bristow, Nancy Angus, Bruce Williams, Terry Howe, Walter Bailey, Andy Parkin, Jane Sybilla Fordham, Jane Lyster, David Parfitt, Eleanor Suess, Kate Strachan, David Watson, Jonathan Swain.

Artist Statements

I am primarily a painter, but I often work in other media, most recently mosaic and stone. Sandblast was a good opportunity for me to model a figure. This was something I’ve not tried before. Playing in a sand pit all night in the centre of a church was an irresistible and surreal pleasure.

Instead of the bucket and spade method of filling a mould and emptying out a shape, I modelled the figure with the sand and cast it in resin and cloth. Lifting the muslin from the figure created a veil. Is the veil a dream, spirit soul or apparition? Jane Sybilla Fordham, Artist
I wanted to use ceramic and glass in the installation because they both contain silica (sand). I also like the contrast between the materials and wanted to introduce some colour.

My initial idea didn’t work – a large, low relief drawing based on DNA shapes – the scale was all wrong, so I came in the next day with the thought that I would make something that looked as though it had been buried or had been under the sea for a long time so that the surface had become encrusted and partly concealed and this sort of sea urchin just evolved. To beginwith I thought it was cosy and organic but as I looked at it, it started to feel rather threatening, perhaps I have watched too many science fiction B movies. Nancy Angus, Artist

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