Helen Crawford’s 1000 Beautiful Cuts

In response to the “Exploration” theme of the 2016 Langkawi Art Biennale, Helen Crawford from Adelaide, Australia created this interesting assemblage/installation.

Exploring Langkawi Island with these sculptors gave me the opportunity to observe and mingle with them. Aside from the items I saw Helen gathering from the marble factory and the scrap yard, she literally explored Langkawi Island by foot, bike, and van to gather these Items she found; objects which, according to her had spoken to her about the concepts she was exploring. The artist in her saw symbolism to each item, and their relationship within the work.

Helen describes her installation with the same passion she puts into her creation :
“The prow of the boat form rests on a block of resin, it glistens like amber or precious jewels, and with the plastic shipping rope forms a sense of ocean and water through which the boat moves. The scales have been placed to measure the weight and cost of our journey. They hold another representation of “boat” and create a visual sense of direction and forward movement. This actual rib from a local boat is however placed “sideways”, and is followed by an old oil barrel, beautifully rusted and textured. Atop we see sand and 99 shards of cut marble, representing the precious and sacred earth of Langkawi (with its 99 islands). Some marble shards are wrapped with sheep’s wool wafting softly up and away.”

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“Australian wool demonstrates my experience of interconnection and concerns for our global future and responsibilities to influence our future,” Helen further adds.

The marble piece Helen got from the forest “marble” place now stands prominently in the assemblage. She describes it in full: “At the rear, the marble form is created from a discarded burial marker, or tombstone. The boat moves away from this “fish” towards a plasticised ocean.”

What is the message she wanted to impart through this work? Helen articulately expounded:
“The work questions the capacity of our cultures, traditions and religions to respond adequately to the current state of global pollution. It questions who will be able to complete mourning if the balance is tipped too far and the weight of our desire for “more” becomes impossible for the natural world to bear.”

Helen Crawford’s 1000 Beautiful Cuts is one of the featured installations/assemblages displayed at the Langkawi International Convention Center as a part of Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 celebration.