The Miners’ Commandments
Taking inspiration from the history of a material or object, my work develops as I research and uncover links which form a narrative. I work by hand to create curiosities, from a small Wunderkammer inspired by a trip to Rhoose Point to a larger installation made from denim. Handmade processes are at the core of everything that I undertake and recent work titled “The Miners’ Commandments”, challenged properties of denim, traditionally associated with work-wear, it could be manipulated several ways. The history of denim revealed that Levi Strauss first offered tents to miners during the American Gold-rush, however there was a greater need for trousers for the miners and so the tents were then transformed into work-wear. This led me to transform denim clothing back into a tent, whilst utilizing seams to depict a miner complete with sculpted tools. During the Gold-rush era, the miner’s commandments were created and written by a Jam es Hutchins, all to repeatedly encourage and remind the miners to think of one thing only…gold!
The news print has been screen printed onto the tent whilst the suspension of the figure denotes a ghostly memory of the denim and its associations with the miners and an accompanying artist’s book with both screen and mono print pages sewn using antique gold colored thread, similar to Strauss’s traditional stitched denim.
Levi Strauss’ records were destroyed in a fire and so the addition of a burnt, screen printed piece of the news print became the last piece to the installation.