Plusdesign is pleased to introduce ‘ Making Relics ‘ : a collection of marbles by based-Pavia English sculptor Will West. Graduate from London well-known Central Saint Martins, Will West left a rather urban yet impersonal work frame to establish within the grounds of a factory that works marble in the middle of rural Italy.
Having a studio within the grounds of a factory that works marble, has given Will West the opportunity to observe and learn from the artisans that work there. As Will West has often worked in the past with discarded / abandoned elements, the factory and the industrial area that surrounds it have been a great source for materials.
The particular event that got Will West started using marble was watching a restoration of a marble fireplace, realising that the same technique to fill a hole could be employed to make something whole.
The first containers used were found objects, abandonded around the industrial estate, and to unite them with the discarded materials (marble) found around his studio seemed less of a choice , more of a natural progression, a case of ‘why not’ rather than ‘why’.
Although all the elements involved have their origins in the waste bin, whether its the marble or what gets treated, there is the obvious contrasts between them. The connotations of rarity, durability, luxury and an ancient craft etc, inferred on marble and the working of it, compared to that of the plastic containers, cheap, throwaway and mass produced, admittedly aspects that are relevant to where Will West resides and not necessarily so elsewhere, where a plastic container may have a much longer and much more appreciated lifespan.
So what is gained by rendering a perfectly useful, although unwanted object, an impractical one? Its impracticality is only questioned when referring to its designated use, by dressing it in marble it hasn’t lost any connotations to that use, so if practicality is important, it lies in what that use symbolises.