Who are you?
I’m Georgia McGrath
Where are you?
What are you researching/interested in?
Over the past year I’ve been researching post-industrial society within the UK. I’m particularly interested in the social shift during the miners strike of 1984 – 85 that came with the decline of manufacturing and the switch to a service sector. This period is important to me as it took place where I grew up (County Durham) and is remembered every year through events such as the Miners Gala. I am trying to find out why particular areas in the UK have found it difficult to regenerate after the closure of industry and explore the political and social problems that came with this.
What is your work (specific or general) trying to say?
I feel that my work at the moment is trying to ask questions. I make sculptural prompts for conversations to discuss aspects from my research. Why certain areas, in particular the North East, not successfully bridged to a service society as well as other places and what the affect has been on these communities. Its important to remember an areas history so I use industrial materials such as concrete, metal and coal to explore these topics.
Who is your artwork for?
Its for people from communities like these who recognise the downturn of their once thriving area caused by this lack of structure from the government.
Can you explain a pivotal artwork of yours?
Yes but it wasn’t a good piece! I was doing a lot of research into pedophilia within the Catholic church at the time and engraved the word ‘MOLESTATION’ into a slab of granite. People instead thought it said ‘MOLE-STATION’ thinking it was some sort of train station for moles or something… I realised I was trying to embody all of my research into one piece which made the work become off-putting and boring. However it was an important piece to learn from. It taught me to stop being so literal with materials and text in this case. (Not pictured)
Can you give one piece of advice?
I just like talking to people in the studios, being engaged with other peoples practices can give you insight on your own. There are so many people working on really interesting things. Also not be scared to ask for advice from the people working around you.
Which exhibition have you liked recently?
I enjoyed Monika Sosnowska’s ‘Structural Exercises’ at Hauser & Wirth in London. Her rebar sculpture across the room was very immersive and the display of balance caught my attention, especially of one piece in particular (‘C and Concrete’) which looked so beautiful and strong.
I’m still very interested in balance at the moment so I’m planning on making my own weights to be hung from some sculptures. Exploring some more organic forms with concrete other than squares that I have used in past works could work well. Also a potential group exhibition in June with my Politics class however dates still need to be confirmed. Just making more heavy things really!
Can you recommend three artists to look at?
Ellen Ranson @ellenranson
Elaine Robertson @elainerobertson_