Line(s) Of Evidence

Ingrid Bolton
Curated by Els van Mourik
29 May - 25 July 2021


The evidence presented here for this exhibition is my evidence of exploration, in this case of materials or compounds. Copper, magnetite, vermiculite, coal, calcium carbonate and porcelain intersect through my work and have been used separately in the past but here they come together, finding a place alongside each other. This line is a line where I, as a human, interact with nature. Where I make connections between compounds and how I intersect with nature.


My work with copper prompted me to visit to the Copper Mine in Phalaborwa, I discovered that there are by-products that come out of the earth with copper. Vermiculite and magnetite are two of these by-products. I chose to work with them because of the magnetic quality of magnetite and the transparency of vermiculite. I found in the uses for Magnetite that is used to ‘wash’ coal, collecting the dust as it does. Because of its magnetic nature it is collected with magnets to be reused again and again. Magnetite is also used to colour porcelain and paint. Finding these connections to the materials of coal and porcelain brought me full circle to the two materials that I have used predominantly in the past. The translucency of the vermiculite reveals what is beneath in some of the works as it does in the earth, layered amongst the copper and the magnetite. The juxtaposition of these compounds also has a physical connection with each other in the ground or through functionality, and are the evidence of my connection to all of them. Represented from the earth to the gallery space.


I have come to realise, we as humans are integrally connected to the earth, by weaving, printing, layering and sewing I hope to visually reveal this connectivity. Through techniques like weaving and sewing I am making marks with copper and thread on coal-soaked fabric and paper. Marks referencing maps or paths that are made by humans on the earth. Marks that would be used on a map like slime dams, mining pits and mine dumps. The stitching is on one layer of fabric, revealing the residue of the connecting stitch behind the fabric as a tone of a mark made with pencil or charcoal would do. On the copper woven pieces, the threads are linked through each other to come together to create the artwork, intertwined and locking together. The intersection of these compounds, alongside each other, overlaid, joined in conjunction and sometimes individually, come together to confer with each other.


The line in this body of work originates from the word ecoline. When I first came across the word ecocline, I misread it as ecoline. I chose to retain this word as my artwork has consistently explored and played with the physical and metaphorical notions of a line. Initially I worked with the word ecocline as a reference to a boundary where two natural habitats overlapped. The crossover of the two areas, is more diverse as both individual areas intersect on the fringes. This physical area was the space between the ocean and the atmosphere, or the ocean and the coastline. More specifically to the absorption by the ocean of carbon dioxide emissions, caused by humans.


I play with the notion of a line in relation to my ecoline, one that explores areas of mapping, contours and boundary lines. Lines of demarcation, separation and limitation. Smaller artworks come together to form a whole, placed along a line. Visually revealing the evidence of materials that I work with together showing how, I, and we as humans, are integrally connected to nature. Not able to separate.


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