How is a living being to manage the thought of its diminutive size in relation to its world and the unfathomable infinity that surrounds it; the contradiction between the immeasurably brief speck of time for which you are able to breathe and the lifetime of existence which yields all the time that a human can ever understand; expiry closer with every thump in the chest?
Although endlessly romanticized, hearts, in their very essence, hold the inevitability of death. Throughout the mammal kingdom this shared pump of expiry differs little, and stays hidden in a multitude of chests as the essential life-giver.
I have decided to build an archive of the hearts of all the existent mammal species, ranging from Bumblebee Bat (7mm) to Blue Whale (the size of a small car). My aim is to create an immersive installation in which the human can place itself on a par with its mammal relatives, stripped of the intelligent body which consistently conceals its animal parallels.
Thus, the installation will illustrate the similarities, rather than the differences, between the human and all other mammals. It is a salutation to life, but one that recognizes that it cannot be without death.
With limited amounts of research existing on individual species, the common 'fact' that has been central to my scaling of these hearts is that the organ is roughly 0.6% of any mammals total body weight. Consequently, the piece becomes a work of averages. Common sizes, weights, and obtainable details determine the outcome of my sculptures. The sculptural outcomes of this project are far from scientific representations. Rather, they are undoubtedly botched versions, made in plasticine as to be evocative of the learning process. These lumps of plasticine lack biological detail so as to lead the viewer away from considering the sculptures as individual works of skill, but instead as a complete installation which compares and contrasts the different scales of living things.
Funded by Liverpool (July 2015)