Lorrain Mailer

Bio: A British sculptor, located near Ashford, Kent. Using repetitive processes, Lorrain’s art practice is one of enfoldment. Fragile, seemingly ephemeral, inconsequential and often transparent, her sculptures are made from every day, single use materials, achieved through a labour-intensive craft process of wrapping. Her process of enfoldment is a cathartic and haptic methodology, allowing her to spatially process her concerns of a world order that is reluctant to change and where domination, discrimination and double standards appear to her to be increasingly prevalent. ​Her wrapping processes are suggestive of acts of preservation yet the resulting sculptures, reflective of her mental analysis, lack substance, durability or essential transformation. ​Through the multiple viewing angles stimulated through the transparency of many of her works, the revised, irregular forms empower the viewer to make their own analysis and conclusions to the meaning. There is a problematic challenge rooted in Lorrain’s sculptures due to the ubiquitous plastic material she employs, resulting in a question that affects us all, as an intrinsic part of our modern industrial society. Plastics endure, with an outcome still not known, breaking into ever smaller particles to become absorbed into matter. It’s tenacious longevity, trillions of years to decompose, matches conventional sculpture materials such as stone. The future is unclear, yet there will remain embodied in the layers of adhesive, trapped traces of the human hand, hermetically sealed in the moment of construction, a fragment in evolution.

Website: https://www.lorrainmailer.com

Instagram: @lorrainmailer

Its twilight and there’s a rosy blush on the skyline above the far wooden hurst.   You are in a graveyard, old, peaceful, with lichen growing over leaning Norman arched tombstones and intense clusters of primroses.  This ancient, undisturbed rural landscape, overshadowed by heavy yew trees and the bare deciduous branches of ash is ghostly intruded in clumps by an assembly of shiny, reflective and transparent clear boxes.

We are just Passing Through

On a white square, runs a small, repetitive yet urgent looping red tine horizontally running across the page.  Over which. like a medical chart, monitoring your heart, rating your anxiety or pain; blue and black biro lines vigorously loop agitatedly up and down across the page in ever increasing vertical loops.

Processing

Central to a yellow nylon washing line is a light beige folded sheet draped over a slim man.  A young man, due to the skin on his hand, which he jauntily places on his hip, at the point where his grey buttoned up cardigan meets his beige chinos. His identity is obscured as he has snuck under the sheet, with his head protruding above the line and red peg.  It is out doors, near a house as the clay tiles can be seen sloping away in the top background.  Further down there is a delicate hedge to the right and a small white bloomed shrub to the left leading down to a sloping concrete tile path.

Today's Sculpture

A pale grey background with four equally spaced horizontal lines of pixelated typographical characters.  The first at the top, clearly reads the word repeat, again and again, white with an orange and black outline, on a band of magenta, yellow, green and pale blue.  This band of colour is repeated in the three other lines.  But this time the wording has lost its focus in a mix of pale and dark blue dots.

To hell with admin

Over an A4 sheet of mid-blue graph paper, with its vertical and horizontal lines neatly outlining rows of boxes are scribbled in blue a number of hand written words.   All these words are interconnected with blue and green lines, around a central statement encircling the words ‘Document my work’.  The words enfold; website, photography, socially engaged projects, interviews, articles, workshops, residency, exhibition – solo, group, collaborations, open studio, Instagram, open calls, videos.

Mind map doc

Plunged into a clear blue sky are the shredded white strands of plastic wool, fibrous like thread.  Unravelled from a suspected man-made object, the threads have twisted and matted themselves into coils of taggles around dead or hibernating twigs.   Other twigs interlock in this coil, are emerging into bud, bearing yellow miniature grape like hips, that gleam in the sunshine.

Shredded at Kwik Fix

Black finger knitted finely spun wool is looped together in a chicken wire pattern, amassed from the top right-hand corner.  Like a web, it falls across a mass of golden uncut and knapped flint.  The exterior of these nodules, are battered, old and chalky in cream, caramel and beige colours.  In the foreground the wool is broken and frayed as it appears the flint has ripped it's way out of the netting.

Bag it Up

Take 3 jiffy bags 460 x 660mm, 340 x 445mm and the smallest 260 x 345mm.  Place Type 1 hardcore, broken down builder’s rubble of bricks and similar solid materials used as foundation in buildings and roads.  In the middle parcel, pour in Type 2 hardcore of crushed aggregates, recycled waste and crushed concrete.  The last parcel would contain waste tarmac.  Finally bury these parcels and exhume in a couple of years, revealing that only the paper casement would ever decompose.

Once Upon a Time

Willow shoots and branches, in all sorts of vibrant autumn colours from black, brown, beige to yellow and reds follow like the contours of a ships bower, sweeping from right to left, to join vertical willow masts.  They knit together along with horizontal rigging willow.  A hand reaches in from the top right holding a clear plastic bottle, with a green top and a scrap of yellow paper folded up inside, its only content, caught in the process of dropping it to join the others below.

Time Lock

A busy, detailed image, with branches of straight and wispy willow which vary in colour from glossy black to crisp autumn red and yellow.  Your eye travels from top left to cascade and fan down the right-hand side with the shoots.   Yet the occasional branch sturdily weaves itself vertically, like a tangled nest, holding the structure together.  Nestled within this construction are an assortment of clear empty plastic bottles, approximately 1 to 2 litres with various brightly coloured tops and in turn squirreled inside them, appears to be scraps of paper, white, red and yellow in colour.

Message in a Bottle

Half way down on the left side of a solid black background, is a small white ‘A’ formatted sized sheet of paper.  Over its surface, in tight rows down the page is repeated the word ‘repeat’ in a sans serif type face, equivalent to 11pt on A4.
Larger on the right is a manipulated image of this original typographical work on the black background, with the words, no longer distinguishable, in multi colours.  Rather the overall impression is of a horizontal striped Guatemalan textile, in bans of cyan, orange, lilac, magenta and grey with flecks of bright opposing colours in the strips.

Before & After

Two very large pieces of blue Lego dominate the image.  Viewed from the underside, the hollowed-out spaces between the sides and the circular holes, appear black, while a sheet of plastic lays over the surface; sellotape.  Oozing from the top and running over the edge of the Lego is a white creamy substance about to fall down onto a glass surface at the bottom.

A Lego Home

A sheet of thinly lined file paper, is torn along the left-hand margin as evidence of having been ripped from a pad.   On the paper is a painted squidgy doorway in pale blue, depicting six panels and held within a brown three-sided door frame.  Around this image is a red ink line encircling horizontally in an oval with a number of arrows; while behind the door, the line is replaced with a pale pencil line.  This line is to infer that the sculpture can be circumnavigated and viewed from 360 degrees but the door cannot be pass through from either side.

Quick Threshold Visual

Central and running top to bottom is half cooked rolled out pastry, beige in colour and crinkled like slabs of plaster around the edges of a white ceramic rectangular dish.  The pastry on the base of the dish is dimpled, like honeycomb and raw in the hallows, where little clay balls have laid, to prevent the pastry from lifting while being baked bind.  But now these beige balls have been lifted and have bunched together at the bottom end of the dish.

Blind bake-off

A country style vertical window with black cross panels is embedded in a white plaster wall, with brown brick trim top and bottom.  There is wisteria creeping at the corners and a rose bush in leaf, bottom right.  The glass against a deep red blind reflects the evening drawing in, in a rural landscape.  While at the bottom of the frame is a willow structure, a red roaster and my white plaster head on a fragile sellotape caste.

Paint it Black

A warm orange glow emulates from a photograph of the bottom half of two glass bottles set on a rich oak table.  One bottle is amber in colour and filled with whisky, the other to its right holds a white creamy drink within its frosted glass.  In front holding the dregs of whisky is a vertical and horizontal cut crystal short tumbler and, in the foreground, and partially seen is a book; Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana.

Our Man in Havana

A white creamy liquid covers most of the image.  This wet plaster has numerous dark dots of various sizes sprinkled over its surface, though pouring table salt.  A chemical reaction is starting to take place between the components.  This will continue even after the plaster of paris has dried on the sellotape caste below, which in turn may slump, buckle or collapse under the weight of the above materials.

What happens if . . .

Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, Paul Patton, Bloomsbury 2014 
Jacques Rancière, The Emancipated Spectator, Slavoj Žižek, Verso 2009 
Can War be Eliminated? Christopher Coker, Policy Press 2014  
The Future We Choose, Christiana Figueres & Tom Rivett-Carnac, Manilla Press 2020 
Why does He do That? Lundy Bancroft, Penguin Group 2002 
Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, Karen Armstrong, Bodley Head 2014

Research

A detail of overlapping translucent plastic bubble wrap; capturing the uniformity and duplication of the inflated bubbles.  Each layer has been washed over with watered down acrylic paint.  The prominent colour, red, rises from the bottom spreading up the image to take up 4/5 of the image.  The layer is yellow, top left and as it folds behind the red merges down the entire left-hand side. Top central the bubbles are covered with a faint wash of green while in the top right corner, the bubbles are blue.  But since the application of paint differs in pressure, individuality is revealed.

Exposure

Central to a light brown wooden surface is a large white ceramic plate.  On the plate is a lightly toasted slice of bread, buttered and spread with marmalade.  There are a couple of orange rinds in the jelly and the butter has been roughly spread over the spelt toast, shaped like an eyebrow, but vertical, as it was cut from a lozenge shaped loaf.  The most dominate feature is the large void centred in the toast in the shape of a man; like the symbol you would find to indicate the men’s toilet.

We are what we Eat

An evening street photograph with the road travelling off into the distance on the left, it’s a clear night.  To the right and on the pavement is an organically overgrown 1980's glass telephone box.  Ivy crawls through the over lit interior light to reveal that the phone has been wrenched sometime in the past, from the corroded metal.  While clean sharp translucent, twinkling sellotape boxes shuffle into the space as the heavy green algae covered glass door is held open by a tired plastic road side cone.

I'm a time traveller