Creating Beauty from what doesnt get used
All materials have a story to tell, and we don’t have to look very hard to read them; from the growth rings on a tree stump, to the rust on a car door.
Yet with this vast parade of things constantly passing in and out of our lives, we don’t make time to consider the journey an object has taken to arrive in its current form.
How did it get here? What did it go through to get here? And what happens next, after it has served its immediate purpose?
The things we call “waste” become faceless abstracts with stories we would more conveniently sweep under the carpet.
Ben Graham´s work aims to honor the stories of the materials that industry would have condemned to landfill or incineration. He helps us to consider the next chapter in the story of these “zero value” materials by creating striking, undulating sculptures intended to be touched, explored and enjoyed.
Ultimately inviting us to consider the origin and beauty of the objects in our everyday lives, with the hope that we can thereby reframe what is disposable vs reusable.
2020 | Creating something out of nothing
Manufacturing practices serve to transform and preserve natural materials - enhancing their properties to bestow upon them additional strength or durability. As early as 1797, we have been gluing thin layers of trees together, imparting a consistency and regularity that wouldn’t have been achieved by nature. Today, Plywood provides a backdrop to our lives - from playing a key role in the poured concrete structures we live in, to serving as the raw materials for our furniture and flooring.
All of the below works have been created from the offcuts of that industry. A surplus material - although unnaturally durable - usually discarded as commercial waste.
ONE DAY WE WILL ALL BE DUST
2019 | A study in materiality
Time's effect on materials is evident in everything around us - from the cracks in sun-bleached paint, to the yellowing of paper. Every material follows its own anticipated trajectory with calculated speed and precision: this is particularly well observed in wood, where each year of growth is commemorated in a ring, while its decay, noted in the discolouring left by the mosses, fungi and bacteria it sustained.
The following works are a study on materiality. Although identical in form, how each one ages and breaks down, at its own individual pace is - for me - fascinating to observe,