C-PLATFORM × Edward Clydesdale Thomson
The summer of 2018 I participated in the ‘Into Nature’ biennale in Drenthe where I began in earnest to explore a particular strand to my research related to sustainability, both ecological and practice based. As a personal goal and value I’d like to work towards an appreciation for a more sustainable economy of art, one that’s less a mirror of our throw away society. In Drenthe where my project for the exhibition was titled ‘below the soil, between the branches, above the clouds’ I assembled a mobile studio (a greenhouse atop a farm wagon) which became my working base over the course of the two and a half month long exhibition. Throughout this period I worked outdoors recycling and improvising with the materials I found. Some were made into sculptures, instruments, ornaments and decorative objects, others garments. For me the process of being in a space and making work with what I find is a process where I learn how to experience time in a different manner. Being outside working the rhythm of the day adds a dimension of urgency to your work as you strive to finish in the available light. It means making decisions quickly, testing and trying constantly. It allows me to work with the surrounding landscape, being in a connection with the weather and light. I think the question of sustainability and the tool of recycling is very related to time. Time’s one of the greatest problems of our age. The beat of post-industrial capital accelerates erratically. To think recycling within an artistic practice need not only relate to materials but also about the way you work with those materials. In my teaching at the Rietveld one of the ideas I was bringing to the students was thinking through making. During ‘Into Nature’ I explored the surplice and unexpected spaces created by processes of labour: I explored thinking thought making. This relates to ideas of sustainability in that it upends a results driven economy by focusing on the process rather than the result.
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