In the Creative Maelstrom that is the GSA Degree Show, success can be measured in the ability of a piece of work to grab and hold our attention above the clamour all around and so it was with the work of our Hunt Medal winner for 2022, Lily Krempel.
Our medal is awarded for ‘Poetic Creativity’ so the artist needs to have created work which speaks to that criterion, not in a literal sense but in the emotional connection made between the viewer and the work.
‘ Fire Dials’ is both sculpture and performance and when viewed in person connects viewer and piece in a sensory way that transcends time and place making it almost primeval.
Lily has also been a recipient of the RSA John Kinross Scholarship, to spend a period of 6 to 12 weeks in Florence to research and develop her practice. She has also been selected as one of the RSA ‘New Contemporaries’.
We at the Trust are delighted to be able to contribute to the launch of this emerging artists career.
She’s definitely one to watch!
Carol Campbell, June 2022
Lily Krempel, Statement:
My degree show space told the story of a site-specific work.
In the absence of ritual, I formed my own. A walk following a map of specific moments and sites overlaid on new land, geometrically plotted, measured by the degrees of my compass and by my footsteps. Wearing my metal structure flat-packed and fitted upon my back, I carried the sculptures. At the last site, I laid down a fire.
The space holds the remnants of the work, sculptural props for a happening; the fire-dials upon their structure, charred Scots pine and silver birch, a spider’s web, my backpack with spiked feet for their structure, a map with compass readings and footsteps and a video filmed at Lochan Mor, ‘Lily Loch’ made with the help of my mum, Martha.
The dials are so named as they exist as a piece of equipment for rotation. A traditional dial is spun on a telephone or tuned to select a radio frequency or read to tell the time. The fire-dials revolve as they trace the fire; its size, the direction of wind current, the rising temperature of airflow.
In the making of these ‘fire-dials’ I used the compasses and measuring tools that belonged to a beloved friend who passed away. The tools with which we work, give rise to the art. Cut from steel sheets, the shapes have become weaponry designed to slice through darkness.
The sensation of darkness is tangible in the body. Grief, in its many forms can feel like this. A sense of bearing the weight of an unshifting shadow.
I am inspired by memories of my grandmothers Christmas pyramid candle ornaments. The origin of the delicate kinetic candle decoration dates back to the Middle Ages. It was traditional in southern and western Europe to bring evergreen branches, into the home and hang them in order to ward off gloomy, sullen feelings through the dark and cold winter months. In northern and eastern Europe traditional candles were used to achieve this goal. The Christmas pyramid unified these two traditions, consisting of handcrafted kinetic elements hanging over a network of candles. A symbol of Winter celebration; a vessel for uplifting the spirits.
To aid the mobility of my work, I designed and built it to be flat-packed. In order to carry my metalworks across site, I constructed a frame from ash to wear upon my back with small steel fittings, ash dowels and specifically sized holes in the wood to hold and piece together the metal structure in their separate balanced parts. It was important to me, that I carry the work, the weight of it, the movement of it. I was inspired by the functionality of timber structures and baskets worn by people of mountain communities across the world used to carry belongings and food to their locality.
Part of my installation included a video work, accessible online following this link:
Instagram linked here:
GSA showcase page linked here: