phoebe cummings' clay-made sculptural flora nods to the ephemeral at art basel 2023

phoebe cummings' clay-made sculptural flora nods to the ephemeral at art basel 2023

Phoebe Cummings forms vegetation from clay

 

British ceramics artist Phoebe Cummings presents a large-scale sculptural artwork inspired by the natural world. Crafted exclusively from unfired clay, the artwork highlights the fragility of the material while delving into themes of impermanence and decay. Dubbed ‘Deepfake Eden,’ the project examines the fine line between reality and illusion, presenting an interplay of shapes and textures.

 

At Art Basel in June 2023, start-up Arcual collaborated with the ceramics artist, creating an extensive sculptural commission for their booth in the collector’s lounge. On this occasion, Arcual exhibited her large-scale artwork, offering visitors a glimpse into her creative process. The interactive experience was enhanced by mirrors and lighting techniques, emphasizing the interconnectedness between the artist, collector, and the artwork itself.

 

Launched in autumn 2022, Arcual is supported by art world leaders, including the MCH Group (parent company of Art Basel) and LUMA Foundation, aiming to utilize blockchain technology to create a more equitable art ecosystem, offering artists more transparency and participation in their careers. In line with this mission, the sculptural piece handily integrates blockchain technology with the traditional, handcrafted medium of ceramics, resulting in a playful and organic fusion. Maja Hoffmann, Founder of LUMA Foundation, comments on that collaboration, ‘Arcual’s mission from the very start has been to offer pioneering technologies that give artists greater ownership, participation, and transparency in their careers, as well as to provide both institutions and galleries the tools to best nurture them.’phoebe cummings nods to the ephemeral with sculptural flora made entirely of unfired clay

all images by Gloria Soverini

 

 

a sculptural flora

 

Phoebe gently harnesses the malleability of clay, which can be easily dissolved and reformed, offering unlimited creative possibilities when in its natural state. Her delicate sculptures are imbued with vitality present in both Baroque design and the primordial landscape in which clay was formed.

 

‘Nature is a big inspiration within this work, and all of my work, considering how we relate, care, belong and attempt to control it. Often the work is composed of botanical elements, sometimes this relates to the histories of specific plants or places, or sometimes it explores the shifts between nature and design (and back again). I enjoy that clay has arrived from the weathering of rocks or other natural processes, it is organic and inorganic, it is the land and earth,’ explains the artist. ‘Fiction is always an important aspect within the work, here there is a questioning of the boundaries and gaps; between reality and fiction, past, present and future, object and performance, growth and ornament, what we see and what we know.’

phoebe cummings nods to the ephemeral with sculptural flora made entirely of unfired clay
intricate forms mimic the natural world

 

‘I am increasingly interested in how we collect the ephemeral, and how collections can encompass different forms of artistic practice that may not result in a permanent object. I have expanded the way I record each work, moving beyond photography and film as the primary method to include writing as well as other sensory information such as humidity, offering new possibilities in terms of how a work may be re-performed in the future.’ says Phoebe Cummings.

phoebe cummings nods to the ephemeral with sculptural flora made entirely of unfired clay
delicate sculptures are a nod to ephemerality and fragility

deepfake-eden-art-basel-unfired-clay-sculptural-vegetation-phoebe-cummings-designboom-31800

each intervention exhibits an interplay of shapes and textures

phoebe cummings' clay-made sculptural flora nods to the ephemeral at art basel 2023
this malleable material can offer unlimited creative possibilities when it is in its natural state

phoebe cummings' clay-made sculptural flora nods to the ephemeral at art basel 2023
nature is a big inspiration in this work

deepfake-eden-art-basel-unfired-clay-sculptural-vegetation-phoebe-cummings-designboom-21800
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surrounded by mirrors and immersive lighting, the artworks creates an interactive experience
surrounded by mirrors and immersive lighting, the artworks creates an interactive experience
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project info:

 

name: Deepfake Eden

artist: Phoebe Cummings | @phoebe_cummings

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