The best of my work is ambiguous. Ideas evolve out of the juxtaposition of materials and forms allowing a multitude of readings at many levels.
One of my jobs, as a dad, is to fix my son’s toys when they get broken. I am sure he thinks I can fix anything. One of these was a brightly coloured plastic spring called a slinky, which was always getting tangled. At about the same time I was considering re-making an idea that I attempted a couple of years earlier.
It was in 1999 when I joined old tyre tubes together and re-inflated them to make a spiral. Originally I intended to make a donut shape out of the spiral, a form that I hoped would stand on its side and lean against the wall. The rubber form was too heavy for the air to support, so I ended up using steel beams to hold it up. Finally, the spiral continued through the wall into a photographic image, adding another dimension to the work and finding an excellent resolution to the problem. I called the work Mobius referring to the continuous nature of the mobius strip and the symbolism implied by this enigmatic form.
The donut shape of the tyre tube and the idea of making them into a continuous spiral that recreates the same shape recalls, symbolically, David Bohm’s concept of ‘implicate order’: the idea that information about the whole of a form is enfolded within the smallest fragment of it. The early problems associated with using tyre tubes persuaded me to use rubber water pipe insulation instead, and the work in this exhibition was born. I remember one of my early aims for the work was to imply that the spiral itself was made up of a spiral, referring back to Bohm’s idea. I wanted something on the surface that would break it up providing another layer to the work viewed at close range, enhancing the rubber’s flexible properties and reinforcing its potential to expand or contract.
Covering the surface with black lace introduced a fractal dimension creating a dynamic interaction with the rubber. The form changed from being finite and measurable in geometric terms into something infinite. It became almost a living, breathing surface that implied growth, expansion and change, as well as alluding to the existence of an unlimited internal structure. The other more obvious associations of lace, the soft, feminine, decorative, even sexual aspects, remain to seduce the unsuspecting viewer.
The title of the work, Slinky, is humorous.
David Jensz, November 2002