Relics

Fielden's repetitively handwritten text drawings engage with ideas of prayer, devotional acts, indoctrination, obsession, longing and awe. 'Relics' is a series of text drawings where Catholic prayers are scribed by hand in dogmatic repetition, overwritten until they can no longer be read. In their making, the works evolve mark by mark, letter by letter, word by word, phrase by phrase. The sentiment of the prayers blurs, the words become unreadable, and the repetitive act gives rise to a rhythm unto itself. By their end the works are the sum of their history. They are the hope of prayer, fear and longing, quiet indoctrination. They are an infinite night sky, white noise, an abyss, a palimpsest, an obliteration, a relic.

Relics. 2016. Text drawings, archival ink on Fabriano paper, each 30x30cm.

Axis Mundi

This work was the first of my exploration of the axis mundi, the line between Earth’s celestial poles, the axis upon which our planet spins. This is a universal idea crossing religious, secular and cultural contexts. It links the north and south magnetic poles. Across various belief systems it is considered a connection between celestial and earthly realms. Throughout history cultures have represented the axis mundi using symbols such as tree, ladder, church spire, obelisk, skyscraper and mountain.

The sustained line is drawn through space by linking fragile shards of broken ceramic magnets, which I make by smashing strong industrial magnets with a mortar and pestle. This transformative process, similar to traditional pigment making techniques, breaks down the material’s magnetism, producing a granular material with a fragile magnetic force. The material’s fragility steered the development of the work and its making became a meditation requiring stillness, breath and concentrated precision. The obsessive act of drawing this line stems from my ongoing preoccupation with infinity – the line made up of an infinite number of singular points, and the notion that any line drawn is a mere portion of its infinite potential.

The grey magnetic shards of ceramic ferrite suggest the graphic, and they also bring to mind a ceramic at the opposite end of the spectrum - fine white porcelain. In this, I see a poetic opposition: industrial and decorative, opaque and translucent, dark and light.

In the mirror, the line is sustained and tapers to a single shard. This single point is a symbol for the geometric origin of a line, a mineral particle in clay, the beginning and the end of a form. 

Axis Mundi: The Line and The Matter. 2015. Crushed ferrite ceramic magnets, neodymium magnets, glass mirror. Installation dimensions variable.
Axis Mundi: The Point. 2015. Crushed ferrite ceramic magnets, neodymium magnets, glass mirror. Installation dimensions variable.

Infinite

Infinite is a set of three almost identical text drawings that explore the notion of the infinite. They are abstracted starscapes. The work engages with the sense of awe and wonder that we experience when looking out into the endless abyss of the night-sky, and our need for an understanding of our place in the cosmos.

Each of the three drawings is a handwritten decimal expression of one third, 0.33333...., an infinitely repeating decimal. In this way, the three thirds never quite resolve into a whole and singular one. 

The work takes its form from the Christian origin of the triptych. Having grown up Catholic and now having abandoned that faith, for Fielden the work is a meditation on the infinite based upon her memories and her now secular perspective.  In this work, Fielden considers religion as one of the ways in which we try to come to terms with our place in the cosmos. The work references devotional religious acts, and in it’s laborious, repetitive making it is itself a devotional act.

Infinite, text drawings (triptych), archival ink on Arches paper, each 50x50cm.