Artist's talk 2pm Saturday 16 August - all welcome.

Conversation between Wendy Howard and Margaret Roberts in The Bronze Age at Articulate project space, Saturday 9 August 2014

In the beginning the whole focus was metal, but I think if I was really thinking about metal I would be thinking about it in its liquid state because that is what is so remarkable about metal - it can be melted and re-melted and its a liquid. But I certainly would not want to do any forging pouring or casting.

What I am really interested in is having something perfectly flat so its like it doesn't exist at all, its like a mathematical abstract of some kind, like a flat plane or a straight line between two points. So what I am trying to find is the smallest gesture to make that makes it absolutely become a real thing in the world rather than stay that abstract thing.

You're as mad as me. Why do you find that interesting? I don't know if I could say why.

When I do it I try to make a really simple action and everyone can see the simple action I made. So you can perfectly see a flat thing and a simple thing being done to it, but the end result is completely not that, it's like magic, its some kind of magic.

Is the magic somehow the physical world?

Yes it's something about the physical world, and suddenly you have these things that are floating and flying and doing this and doing that, its really fascinating. And suddenly you have a real physical relationship to them as well.

The materials have their own characteristics and limitations and language. Is that how they part of the physical world?

I am curious to think how far you can go, one step leads to another, how far you can go to still have that effect without having to do very much at all, so it is more and more transparent what you have done.

You make me remember the work you had at First Draft about 1990 of a flat sheet of metal sitting on a stand.

That was a cut out oval shape sitting on a musical stand, made out of cold rolled steel which is a lot more resistant that hot rolled. It was heavier than the metal used here.

Does this work come out of that First Draft work?

It's just obvious that I am really interested in making that flat thing do something which is almost like making it fly.  In this case there is a lot of floating going on in both things, and it's interesting how similar it is to Brenda's works up on the Articulate upstairs wall—which are floating little shapes with lots of space between them

I don't know what to think about the fact that the whole idea came from archaeology but once you get into it, to have little relationship to it whatsoever.

So why did you go for the bronze age context?


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