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THE MACHINERY HAS STARTED

​EXPLORING UNSTOPPABLE PROCESSES AND UNINTENDED CONSEQUENSES IN A PRECARIOUS INSTALLATION OF SCULPTURE SOUND AND FILM

OCTOBER 2023

THE LOFT, HERITAGE COURTYARD, WELLS  BA5 2RR

Sculpture and a line of ceramic heads communicating.

​Barnard delves into the core of human agency, exploring the complex interplay between the idea of the relentless machine of fate and human agency's unintended outcomes, alongside the delicate precarity of equilibrium.   

At the heart of this work are eleven humanoid sculptures formed organically from a mix of found and natural products.  These are set on vulnerable, steel stands which bend and move with vibrations or interaction with the viewer.

"She has started the machinery; it will work to its end" (Forster, E.M. 1924.  A Passage to India)

 

This project draws inspiration from Forster's iconic literary reference, extending his notion of the uncontrollable machinery into a multi-dimensional exploration that transcends the textual realm and becomes a tactile, off-kilter visual and auditory experience.  The sculptures, sound and surrounding elements mirror the complex narrative of agency's interaction with larger forces, inviting contemplation of how personal decisions can resonate across the fabric of society, reflecting the idea that humans influence the world around them, whilst at the same time, unwittingly setting in motion larger, often uncontrollable and unstoppable forces that can determine the outcomes of their actions and ultimately shape the course of events.

Ceramic heads
Film 1 - Still

Alongside these elements, the presence of disquieting, momentum driven sound and film underpins a constant sense of unease.  

This installation invites viewers to partake in an immersive experience that goes beyond aesthetics. The juxtaposition between the sculptures' springy forms and the surrounding sea of human heads underscores the intricate balance between intention and repercussion.

Through this immersive narrative, observers are encouraged to reflect upon their own agency within the intricate mechanisms that underpin the notion of societal progress, calling into question the responsibilities that come with shaping the unstoppable processes of our world.

In this synthesis of forms, textures, and thought-provoking themes, "The Machinery Has Started" invites us to engage with the profound dialogue between mechanistic motion, unforeseen consequences, and our own role within the unfolding story of existence. The artwork resonates as an invitation to pause, to ponder, and ultimately, to embrace our potential to navigate the torrents of progress with an awareness of the fragility that accompanies it.

Picture Gallery
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