Just putting a Bronze sponge on a plinth would do nothing, so how do I present this; I could get a actor to attempt to ring out the sponge, to wash with it and document this through video or photography. I could create a stage for the object, similar to a plinth but not traditional, to showcase the properties of this new sponge, with a tank of water where it could been seen to be sunk. Alternatively I could show this through submerging the sponge in a different object capable of holding water, a bucket, a bath etc. All these possibilities should be tested, however the most complicated would be the constructed plinth with a tank, yes this is the more commercial representation out of the three but I want to try all of these out and this requires the most planning, so whilst I waited for the casting process, I constructed this structure.
Whilst considering the design I looked at Damian Hurst and Mark Quin, for alternative plinths, Quin mounted his dried blood sculpture on a refrigerator unit, which creates associations between the work and the method of display. Hurst designs these vast cubes of water, simple in style but it is the addition of colour in to the liquid that interests me, indeed should the liquid in my tank be water at all?
I wanted it so that the sponge was the main element, so a simple frame that simultaneously held the weight of the water tank and did not distract from the object. I wanted the sponge to be visible from all angles so I made sure the bottom of the tank was not obstructed but the frame. The frame is constructed so the sponge will be at eye height with the need to stoop slightly to see underneath.
Testing the plinth will hold water…
It works but it needs to be tested with the bronze sponge in a gallery setting it is my intention that this piece be for our upcoming show at Lewisham Art House in January. But does the display have to be something I construct? Could it be something that already exists in the world? A bath a bucket etc. However by doing this will the sponge loose the simplicity of the idea by effectively adding another object will this additional element become distracting. This is something to be tested when the sponge is ready, it will be about finding the balance between objects like Quin did.