Anima-Mundi is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by British sculptor Phoebe Cummings whose seemingly impossible explorations with clay reveal a stark reminder of the fragility and transient nature of life and our own mark on the environment; both physical and metaphorical.
Anima-Mundi seeks to present exhibitions which draw the viewer away from themselves and into a wider view of the world and in Cummings' work, we feel a distinct connection to her concern with creativity, skill and a methodical approach to making in the Anthropocene age - where human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and environment.
Cummings uses unfired clay to make impressive, intricate sculptures and installations that emphasize material, fragility, time, creativity, and decay. Working across fine art, design, and ceramics, Cummings has recently been shortlisted as one of 12 finalists in The prestigious Woman’s Hour Craft Prize and her submission 'Antediluvian Swag', 2016 will be shown at the V&A Museum, 7 September 2017 – 5 February 2018, before touring to venues around the UK.
Looking to ancient plants with magical associations, as well as those presently endangered or extinct, this new body of work by Phoebe Cummings considers what we might carry forward into the future, as a ritual costume and totems for the Anthropocene. The fragile pieces are carefully wrought by hand in clay, sometimes preserved with wax; it is significant that their survival demands care and attention.
The work draws together a sense of English Paganism as well as the excess of Baroque and Rococo design, resulting in objects that might be considered dystopian ornaments of a future anthropology. The work builds on an ongoing interest in time and nature and how this has been represented and stylised through design.
The objects take the position of something more than natural: they are supernatural. In contrast to previous transient objects and installations, this new body of work considers the present moment as a site for sculpture, where the objects may outlive the moment to which they are connected.