adzing planes like waning moons, Installation, Woodwork sculptures, Audio, Thinking Green, Glynn Vivian, 8 April - 18 September, 2022 

Work in adzing planes like waning moons: 

adzing planes like waning moons, 2022
Ash, green woodwork techniques, pyrography, seeds, set of 3
Board, stools

A Medium for all the Moments Outside of Time, 2022
Audio, looped

adzing planes like waning moons is a site of connection and speculation, creating a space to communicate differently. Continuing Beau and Sadia’s exploration of the materials, means and possibilities of dialogue beyond colonial limits, the work uses a modified version of the Filipino board game Sungka - made using traditional green woodwork techniques - to consider the histories of botanical imperialism, labour, craft and language.  Surrounding this is a sound work, a narrated science-fiction short story, A Medium for all the Moments Outside of Time, about the future of language and connection, the possibility of communion and relation with other places and times.

‘A redwood falls in a Welsh arboretum. What to do with a death that is also a kind of life, a gesture against its own colonial capture? In adzing planes like waning moons, the sungka board arises again, this time from a green woodworking technique used by Beakhouse’s family, in tribute to the fallen tree. In green woodworking, which manipulates unseasoned wood without power tools, there is no quality control; the log splits as it likes, and imperfections are exalted instead of scrubbed out. Between the contaminated worlds of capitalism and a mutated nature, we wanted to settle the score through a reparative repurposing of the wood.

We speculate about the meaning of this unmeaning and what it holds: stillness, resistance, and rest. This is the smell of the spalted ash: the fire or the destruction. Why not make something that comes from destruction, when we already know so much destruction? The pair of seats framing the board explicates this process through language: one bench reveals the artists’ secret mission to salvage the redwood from the arboretum, while the other details the exacting methods of extraction that constituted its original capture. Etched upon the sungka table, somehow split between these two worlds, is a manual for future disruptions. “Displace accturate and liberate stolen trees / make tools to make tools in rustic futures” snakes around the board in a burned-out typeface that merges baroque flourish with high-tech mysticism.’ (Alice Bucknell)

adzing planes like waning moons olive riving ash growth lines heart and destiny seed displace acculturate and liberate stolen trees make tools to make tools for rustic futures

Narration: Umulkhayr Mohamed

Photography: Polly Thomas