Calling the Deep, 2015
Joanna Langford’s fascination is with making installations and seeing how far she can push the materials she works with. Often limiting herself to two or three materials, Langford pulls them apart and puts them back together again. In doing so, she pushes boundaries and transforms everyday objects into something that is whimsical, surreal and enchanting. Langford’s experience of working in recycling shops has naturally inspired her interest in working with objects from her surroundings. She lets the materials she works with dictate the artwork’s form, making her practice similar to that of the Italian Arte Povera movement of the 1960s. Langford’s works are also inspired by landscapes and architecture. The objects she creates are tower-like structures that are wonky yet stable. The towers seem to teeter on an edge. And while Langford’s objects might seem awkward or clumsily placed together, they are the result of a perfect combination of technique and skill. In Calling the Deep Langford balances thin stacks of cast cement fragments to build up carefully planned and complex structures. Some of the objects stand on the floor, others are carefully suspended to float in space. Bamboo skewers painted in alternate bands of white and high viz orange extend out and hang from the cement structures. The skewers act as instruments for detecting imagined geological data, prodding at the mysteries of the layered cement strata.