Small Corner of the State
steel and timber
The initial starting for this work was the ‘brand’. This is in an agricultural context and in a somewhat more humane way continues to this day.
I chose to focus on the small farming area where I grew up. Brands were signifiers of ownership over animals and land. They were recognisable to the local community. Working like a blacksmith, I am drawn to their mode of construction and their use of heat as a catalyst for a ‘painful imprint’. I recall a corner of an open shed where brands were tried out to judge their heat and legibility.
I have mimicked this process using brand imprints from a bygone era. Although the history, politics and harshness of the brand is important, I am just as drawn to the process of using heat to make an imprint onto timber almost in the way you might create a drawing.
It is important to note that this is only a maquette, a starting point for a much larger work that hopefully will become less tangible and less weighed down by its methods of construction and parameters.