For Form Is the Destroyer of Force, Without Severity There Can Be No Mercy, Middleton staged Gairloch estate as the uncanny aftermath of a natural disaster—an otherworldly ruin as glistening as it is decrepit. Collapsing practices of painting, sculpture and architecture, this immersive environment is constructed through the accumulation of both materials and ideas. Middleton harnesses wax, paint, fabric, and other workaday materials in service of animating forces impervious to human intervention, such as the unyielding machinations of time and the brutal strength of nature. While Middleton’s work offers an opportunity to reflect on the inevitability of these forces, it is just as readily engaged in reassessing the relationship between the natural and the cultural, where the laws that govern nature’s systematic creation, destruction and regeneration offer a rich allegory for the production of art and ideas.
In collapsing the practices of painting, sculpture and architecture my work often takes the form of immersive installation environment. This work addresses itself to the materiality of the world, how materials are located in time, and how both their substance and their meaning changes within time.
Studio-based experiments hybridize historical and contemporary aesthetic culture, detailing the migrations of form and meaning over time. In this work, presentation makes place for free processes of becoming, as the artist arranges for potentiality futile propositions with her choice of materials and how she works with them in relation to gravity. Thinking and decision-making are influenced in unexpected ways by the artist’s constant need to adapt to the will of the material, with no static response ever being given to what is happening at the moment of creating the work.
Tricia Middleton mainly uses cast offs from the street, found branches and various discarded pieces of wood, an ever changing coterie of domestic items such as bed sheets, stuffed animals, mass produced ceramic or glass decor items. These found materials are then fused with past artworks that the artist breaks apart into larger fragments or destroys them completely before re-shaping them into a new, accumulative form. The dust and debris generated during this creative process is combined with the items and bound together using various waxes and paints, to form an ever-expanding archive of material that is constantly reconfigured. The material itself seems to generate an intensive accretion process where the fragile, decaying forms, debris and synthetic material develop a reason of their own. The past, the present and the future are endlessly transfigured through various stages of collapse, as these ruinations recall a not so distant former material existence that mirrors a fragile presence and an uncertain future and form a dream-like world of vivid accumulations and decompositions.