NSP 2017 Finalist • James Trundle
James graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art last year. He was honoured to receive the Herbert Seaborn Memorial Scholarship in his second year. Immediately after graduating he was shortlisted for the Woon Foundation Art Prize, and subsequently was invited to show in the Baltic 39 Gallery with the other nine shortlisted artists. More recently he has been shortlisted for the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize and consequently has been invited to show in the Ashurst Gallery this April.
An intricate interplay exists between tool use and human evolution. Our personal identity is recorded in our unique dental record, yet our evolutionary history is also evident. The moment we started using tools, is marked by a change in our dental anatomy; our teeth became smaller, no longer burdened with the task of grinding food into submission. Subsequently I have become preoccupied with the marks made by teeth, and how this can be used sculpturally.
I build contraptions that scrape my dental profile through clay. The uniformity of the furrowed texture suggests a mechanical intervention, yet also references the texture of a cultivated field. I use this process to make large moulds which are cast in concrete, the mould is composed of two halves pressed together, respectively reflecting my upper and lower dental profile. Thus when the halves are united a mouth is closed, the consequential seam is a deformed bite pattern. For the NSP the sculpture is suggestive of a chrysalis, a form which implies a transformation, reflecting our transition from the animal to a sentient entity. A tear will run the length of the sculpture, the rim of this aperture will flare outwards suggesting a departure; the form may be understood as an abandoned relic of a past state.