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parallel vessel evolution / 12 July 2014

Accompanying 'self-made person' my soft-sculpture, empty vessel in Salisbury Arts Centre's Homegrown: Artificial Things exhibition,  is a smaller vessel made of Fatsia Japonica leaves. It has its parallel classification card:

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Fatsia
Species: F.Japonica

Mirroring the seven soft-sculpture hands that are in the process of creation, the palmate leaves of the Fatsia are like hands with fingers cupped open to form the shape of a bowl. With their stems removed, the hand-like leaves have remained green for longer than the control leaves which are now butter yellow and chocolate brown.

There are actually two bowls, the one with the fingers opening upwards collapses softly around the second bowl which sits inside it.

Equally without moisture, the second bowl with its finger-leaves pointing downward, the fingers fletted to form its base, nevertheless retains its shape so that visually it gradually emerges from the structure as the first bowl recedes into the base.

They are each held together with strands of phormium, the New Zealand flax, which becomes hard and almost brittle with age, without first softening, like the Fatsia. Both Fatsia bowls will become dry and crisp as the exhibition progresses.

They sit living and dying even as the soft-sculpture appears immutable.

I would content that AMHS* has made
no significant evolution in the past
hundred-odd years, concentrating its focus
instead on progressing the technology
that allows it to run obediently
behind. I speculate that equality
will only evolve because technology
knows no difference, sees us all as willing
servants to its indifferent acquisition
of power. Clown-prince or princess has no
gender, race, disability or story.
The future tyrant will have no use for land
or gold, evolve itself free of fossil-fuel
and run a clean ship to our glory and shame.

*AMHS:  these four letters, an acronym or initialism, give free reign to my imagination. Standing for Anatomically Modern Homo Sapiens, they expose both comic and tragic implications.