Artist's Statement

Ever Grainger creates sculpture and installations that engage physically with the spaces and contexts they are encountered within. Her concerns focus on the materiality of sculpture itself and the possibilities of its interactions with public and private spaces.

Her more recently developed work with silicone, sets out to distil and capture the process of making work, to retain 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 intuition and material led outcomes.

Silicone is favoured by Grainger 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, Grainger manipulates different grades of the material. A process, to a degree, that is at a remove from a direct ‘hands on’ contact with the material, 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. With current computer technology removing the need for any physical interaction, eg. the devising of sculpture with 3D modelling software, through to 3D printing, Grainger instead returns to more basic level tools where physical overrides, and intuitive control in the moment are still possible as a way of attempting to retain contact and negotiate this dilemma.

This still contradictory process is informed by Grainger’s earlier working life as a self-taught image-maker and designer producing printed matter. During that time, she was interested in the capacity of computer-based artwork to attract the eye, engage and seduce. However, the lack of a physical process when producing work created once or twice removed through screens, plus the resulting ‘flat’ outcome, eventually resulted in a turn to both an art practice and in particular towards sculpture and installation.

To date, silicone works such as ‘Slabbs' exaggerate the contact of surfaces with side formers pressing in. ‘Drape’ is drawn out and elongated, travelling over an edge, whilst others negotiate display furniture, bases, plinths and turntables. Most to date are devised so the forms are cured without being fixed and so can be installed in multiple locations or situations adding layers of potential presence and seeking an extended present.

“In exhibiting and also making silicone-based work for specific physical spaces, I hope the work physically holds the moment of the process of making; partly by the linear nature of the work, how the eye follows the lines exactly as they were laid, and partly how the forms seem to still be soft and not yet set. But also for installed work, I hope the physical interaction of the work with the given space will bring an immediacy of experience, a grounding in the moment equivalent to that which I experienced when making the work in the studio.”