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Cat Robertson

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Catriona is fascinated by the idea of the urban landscape as a collage. She is inspired by how over time architecture forms an urban geology where layers of history are built on top of foundations. Her work responds to the interconnectedness of nature and the city as a landscape resulting in sculptures that embody an architectural imprint. There is a subterranean network of hidden cities beneath us, organic intertwined with inorganic. By covering the ground in concrete, tar and bitumen, we are disrupting the ecological cycle as these inorganic materials degrade at different rates with little or no nutritional benefit to the earth. Her use of re-claimed and re-cycled materials reflect on our throw-away culture, where the bedrock beneath the future city will be made up of detritus and past human relics rapidly compressed to form a new transient sedimentary layer in deep time. Robertson imagines a post-human future which nature will come back through the cracks as the concrete breaks down, where gargantuan worm-like creatures have adapted to digest these synthetic materials excavating and re-constructing.
On the edge of collapse and precarity her sculptures burrow and bury themselves, digging into the ground and carving pathways into up into the ceiling. Tunnelling through in-between spaces, they re-emerge with a new hardened stone-like shell. She performs a ritual of breakage in her process, pulping materials to their core fibres. By squeezing, cracking and blending these opposing elements into a sculptural collage, the materials become an aggregate medium, as if forming a synthetic marble from plasticised concrete.

A quote that often inspires my creative thinking is by artist Manny Farber, “A peculiar fact about termite-tapeworm-fungus-moss art is that it goes always forward, eating its own boundaries, and, likely as not, leaves nothing in its path other than the signs of eager, industrious, unkempt activity.”

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