'Drop, off', silicone, metal ruler, 2022



Ever Grainger's concerns focus on the material and formal possibilities of art objects, examining traditional territories by medium and the conventions of engagement and display.

The more recently developed work with silicone, sets out initially to distil and capture the moment of making as still tangibly present. Through adapted processes with an extrusion gun, silicone is squeezed, squashed and drawn with, using freehand techniques that balance intuitive control and material led outcomes. Works then develop and envelop references from art history to personal experience.

Silicone is favoured as a modern material that is at once liquid and solid, soft and firm. Made from silica - sand - as its core ingredient, it is resilient and rebounds. Its unique properties of setting, taking a detailed impression, grabbing and yet being flexible and non-stick, have made it ideal in the art world for the processes of mould-making and casting. In various formulas it is also known more commonly as the tubed material to fill gaps and seal building materials.

In working with an extrusion gun, a hand tool that produces rounded lines and coils, different grades of the material are manipulated. A process, to a degree, that is at a slight remove from a direct ‘hands on’ contact, but one in which an intuitive, in the moment dialogue of control with the gun and the specific silicone’s properties can be had.

The work is a development of a history of negotiating tool-based aspects of making work in the studio. With current computer technology removing the need for any physical interaction, eg. the devising of sculpture from scratch within 3D modelling software, Grainger returns instead to more basic level tool where physical overrides, and intuitive control in the moment are still possible as a way of attempting to retain contact and negotiate this dilemma. Currently there are plans to enlist laser scanning technology of silicone works, to utilise 3D printing/casting in bronze as secondary iterations to further a dialogue with material expectations.