This work is the final configuration of a project spanning the last two years. Initially I began by transposing Abba music to Arabic instrumentation. Considering this conflation as a sculptural key I began replicating objects that were reminiscent of both Middle-Eastern forms and modernist Scandinavian design. This process was not linear, but circuitous with unexpected and complex associations.
In trying to cast the cavity of a bell I realised that its clapper would interfere with the casting. This reminded me of the problem of trying to fill a pepper mill with peppercorns and having the shaft of the mill get in the way. Increasingly, the task was to try and articulate this central axis, so that the shapes of things turned or spun on a central point became a feature of the work.
Another feature is the relationship between the function of an object and its manufacture. Each of these objects is a type of machine that acts on matter in a specific way, be it grinding filling or melting, but they are also a by-product of another physical process. Within this exchange paradoxes arise as seen in the making of a candle, whereby a wick placed centrally within the cast wax is part of its own undoing. It is this undermining of the nature of the article that led me to simulate lathed wood in clay, electric lamps as candles, and sand Arabic bongo drums as the outer case of a mould.
Overall the piece presents an interrogation of form that, once initiated, snowballs into an ensemble of objects that speak not only of their origin but also of their poetic potential.
Photography: Hany Armanious