200816 - Hand Engraved Brass
20 x 42.5 x 1.6mm
Since August 1st 2020, Josh has been expanding his creative practice to base metals, hand-engraving small pieces of brass and copper on a daily basis. Committed to preserving the beauty of human fallibility, his freehand approach to mark-making combined with the nature of the process from which the artworks emerge, mean each engraving is a unique representation of the moment it was created.
What's your process? How are you making these?
JG: " I cut a small brass rectangle from a larger sheet using bench shears. The date (YYMMDD) is then engraved into the brass. The first line of the pattern is cut freehand into the brass with a sharpened graver. The second line is then cut in direct response to the first––its path being determined by the tension between the present location of the gravers cutting edge and the path(s) that have previously been cut. As the process is repeated, the previously carved lines collectively predict and impose this idea of a "correct" path onto the present moment as it's being cut.
The greater the integrity of the patterns historical record––the strength of its character or its culture––the greater the expectation that the present moment will emerge in honour of it."
So the pattern is a representation of culture?
JG: "I wanted to get a better understanding of the functions of identity, culture and ideology in society. We seem to become inescapably possessed by ideas and they have such a huge influence over how we spend our time and how we relate and interact with each other. There are both positive and negative aspects wrapped up in that. Ultimately it seems that an awareness of the ideas we've become possessed by and an understanding of how those ideas are affecting our perceptions of reality––are fundamental to a healthy human experience.
The work I've been doing over the last few years has lead to an understanding that it's the responsibility of the individual to carve out the present moment in response to their own direct experience.
The expansion of human awareness, fuelled by a desire for novelty, seems to inspire self-selected individuals to periodically venture into the abyss and explores the unknown territory beyond our cultural assumptions. On return to the order of reality––that fixed point of reference against which all else is measured––it is the artist who necessarily bridges those two worlds in the act of creating a representation of their experience. The artwork, conceived by the synthesises of opposing absolutes, becomes a portal through which further contemplation gives way to a diverse and nuanced ground from which the present moment can emerge."
Where are they made?
JG: "All engravings from this series are hand-cut, shaped and engraved in Ballina, NSW Australia."