Wednesday, 13 February 2008

'Nail Box', Wayne Chisnall

‘Nail Box’ is a sculpture greatly indebted to and influenced by the minkisi artefacts of central Africa. Many of these ritualistic objects are carved wooden totems that have had nails and other metal items hammered into them. However, where as the minkisi derive their power from their contents, with ‘Nail Box’ I was trying to create something that’s presence was derived from its adornment of carefully selected nails and rusty metal. By bringing together so many items that had interacted with the elements and their specific environments I hoped to create a piece that would generate a cumulative resonance.
As is the case with many of my sculpture, the found materials used in this pieces’ construction were selected for their ‘resonance’ and collected over several years.
Whilst most of the metal items used in this piece were found in London, anywhere from the streets of Hackney to the inside of the Dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, much of it was collected from the my travels around Britain and abroad, including Europe, Mexico, Cambodia, Thailand, Tunisia and India.
Considering the obsessive nature behind the way I collect and hoard the materials that I use in my work (you should see my studio – it is full of boxes of rubbish (a.k.a. treasure) – I fear that I am a lost cause), I see these sculptures as totems or magnifications of the ritualistic side of everyday life. Physical embodiments of the personal belief systems we all create around us.

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