Marian Hester | Series | The Weight of the Dead2019-08-28T10:17:31+00:00
abstract art

Exhibitions

LANDSCAPE BRONZES

MARIAN HESTER

Turbine Art Fair | 2018

Marian’s current project deals in various ways with landscape and the increasing concerns being expressed worldwide about the effect of the Anthropocene era on nature and ecological systems. Her site-specific installation, entitled “The Weight of the Dead” (2017-2018), uses pieces of dry tree roots and trunks, lit so that the shadows are integral to the work, together with a meditative sound installation, to communicate some of these concerns. A recent 2019 installation comprises a cloud of tiny suspended coins for bees, made from Fabriano papier mâché, also accompanied by a sound work referencing the sky. Other than installation, she also works in bronze sculpture, painting and printmaking

The Weight Of The Dead
2017 – 2018

Marian Hester

The Weight of the Dead (2017-2018) is a site-specific installation which engages with landscape and the increasing concerns being expressed worldwide about the effect of the Anthropocene era on nature and ecological systems – the “Anthropocene” being the measurable human impact on the natural world. I made it in response to my sense of dismay at realising how recent is our collective knowledge about how trees and forests work.

I use pieces of dry tree roots, trunks and branches, a large group of which are suspended from cotton cords or metal cables above the floor and lit so that the shadows cast by the tree pieces and their reflections on the walls, together with vinyl decals simulating shadows, make up a substantial part of the work. The collection of tree “corpses”, suspended between two worlds, inside the gallery space, amplifies the experience of dead nature. Layers of visual information make up my installation: suspended tree pieces, lights, shadows and decals. The decals create a subtle tension by interfering with the real shadows and with the scale of the shadows relative to the tree pieces, undermining the viewer’s certainty about what the real and imagined traces of the trees might be, and subverting the viewer’s normal expectations of the natural world’s being a human-centred environment.

The work incorporates a sound piece, which is composed around two frequencies: 220 Hertz, recently discovered as the frequency of the minute crackling sounds emitted by growing seedlings, and 40 Hertz, the frequency of cut wood. Using sounds from brass prayer bowls and the artist’s voice, humming, it suggests a thoughtful and meditative engagement with the work.