Forever Stuff
Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) 2015

A fleck of sand from a distant coastline was carried by a gust of wind and settles in a swamp across the ocean. There it sits. Over time it slowly sinks, deeper and deeper into the sediment.

A woman working in a field in the outskirts of Paris digs into a crust of gypsum, picking at it with her fingers. She has an idea. After the stone fragments mix with the water they turn into a paste. The woman uses this paste to make a vase for her home. She calls it ‘Plaster of Paris’.

A Saudi Arabian owned company buys a gypsum mine in France. As work begins to refine the raw material to produce Plaster of Paris, the fleck of sand that was blown from the distant coastline that’s has now become part of the gypsum is excavated by a miner from Kuwait. The stone is broken down and mixed up and packaged as Plaster of Paris and shipped to the port of Yokohama.

In an office in the outskirts of Newcastle, an office worker places an order for a few tons of Plaster of Paris on behalf of an American owned hardware company. The plaster, along with the fleck of sand, is sent by ship from a port in Yokohama to the port of Newcastle and then by truck onto Melbourne.

An artist purchases a bag of plaster in Melbourne containing the sand that settled in a swamp near Paris centuries ago. The artist blends it with an array of objects and materials collected over the artists’ life to make a vase. The work is taken to a gallery. There the fleck of sand sits within an artwork with a temporary meaning. An ancient history and an endless future, waiting for it’s next journey.

Photography by Christian Capurro - for the Sidney Myer Australian Ceramic Award, 2015