sodium chloride

CHANGING STATES: LIQUID TO SOLID

“Salt is the only rock directly consumed by man. It corrodes but preserves, desiccates but is wrested from the water. It has fascinated man for thousands of years not only as a substance prized and was willing to labour to obtain, but also as a generator of poetic and of mythic meaning. The contradictions it embodies only intensify its power its links with experience of the sacred.”
Margeret Visser, 20th century author

As an ongowing research I collaborate with Valerie Dempsey. Together we study the subtance salt from the atomic level to its effect on ecosystems. We observe the natural phenomenon of salt marshes, where the struggle between sea and land takes place. Our research concentrates mainly on the materiality of the substance, its cubic lattice form and ionic bonding. The growing of salt crystals on glass (a solid liquid) has been an ongoing process starting with a liquid saline solution, which in time, through evaporation, changes from a liquid to a solid.

The phenomenon of crystallisation of Sodium Chloride
four handcast glass blocks (30x30cm), AtticSalt Gallery, Edinburgh, 2009

In each corner of the gallery there is a hand cast glass block placed on the floor to purify the space. The growing of salt on the glass blocks has been an ongoing process starting with a liquid saline solution, which in time, through evaporation, changes from a liquid to a solid. We started the crystallization on each block at an interval of two weeks in order to show the various stages of crystal growth.

Inspiration for the drawings exhibited here came from our various meetings with Simon Parsons, Professor of Crystallography at the University of Edinburgh. We took a grain of salt from the salt marsh at Tyninghame to the School of Chemistry where, with the help of x-ray diffraction, we were able to view the structure of our crystal, along with a composite view showing the symmetry of the pattern.

http://www.atticsalt.co.uk/

White Gold
a saline solution on black glass; from black to white in one week (120 x 120 cm)
tent gallery, evolution house, Edinburgh, nov 2008

a time based installation, where trough evaporation of a saline solution a reflective black surface turns to as solid white crytalline white surface. In this exhibition we have tried to highlight the properties of salt: a solid from liquid, the crystal compound of sodium and chlorine; pure, simple, faceted and transparent, a tiny fragment of halite, white gold. The unity of metal and gas bonded together and crystallized in cubic form, the resolution
of opposites.

 

Exponential curve (salt encrusted polystyrene foam sculpture with glass insets), MFA Degreeshow Art/Space/Nature 2009

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