Briquette Well at Razklon Gallery with Tsarino Foundation, Bulgaria
08/10/21 - 03/11/21
Project PLOT takes its starting point from the plotlanders, a DIY community that resided in Basildon, UK, the artists birth town. Many plotlanders were displaced when the area was designated as a New Town in 1949, with some remnants remaining in the form of bricks embedded in the ground.
Over the last 3 years I have been producing paper briquettes as a point of entry and allegory to discuss this past community. For the Razklon Gallery, the briquettes have been formed cylindrically, reminiscent of a water well. For plotlanders, water wells were an ample supply of water and, furthermore, in Tsarino, roadside wells and taps have a deep rooted meaning in local culture. Individuals are encouraged to build them in dedication to family members and they also become meeting points, mirroring the location of the gallery at a crossroads between three villages.
At the end of the exhibition, the briquette well will be set alight for warmth facilitating group conversation and congregation.
All photographs courtesy of Tsarino Foundation
On 10th November the briquette well was set alight in a live performative event which also included a reciting of a new text written by Shaun. The buring event was not just to culminate the end of the sculpture being exhibited at the Razklon Gallery but also the end of the artist using briquettes as a method of making. Shauns interest in the process and function of briquette making and the history of water wells led to a group congregation around light and warmth. The burning work was accompanied by a recital of the text about the history of the plotland community in realtion to briquette making and its current context at Tsarino.