Tui Slater Conceptual Artist

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Materials

Found objects - Anything you pick up can be seen just as an object, but when combined with other items, similar, or disparate, and woven around my ideas, they become the words, part of the telling in my narratives.

Acrylic "wool" - Used in my pieces why not "wool wool" one would ask - because I believe that part of my focus on the past in NZ and on what we have lost and if we are interested in where we might be headed.

Lush black fur - The most lush, most expensive fur still does not compare in any regard to possum fur in my opinion. Luxury in the extreme for some, not those on the road though.

Fake fur - Are the housewives conforming to "fashion etiquette" by not having real fur - or giving a chance to have a choice, freeing their mind of "PC" norms - what would they choose I wonder?

Bone - A very interesting material to work with. During the arduous job of preparing the bone for use , requiring scraping out the marrow, scrubbing, scraping the outside of it, over and over again, with many soakings in-between the scrapings, I get to "know the bone", finding its weak spots, and tough areas. With more knowledge I think you could tell a lot about the way the animal had been fed and treated during its life - poor feeding resulting in poor bones I wonder. Bone is very solid and quite unlike metal when it comes to working it. When you cut metal you can feel your way through the metal, gently releasing any tensions between the blade and the metal by altering your position or hold on the metal as you saw. With bone, it has definite grains that move though different parts of the bone and also there are varying thicknesses making it difficult to cut out the shape you want. Broken blades pile up when I work with bone. Once the bone is polished up though, (always done by hand), I forget the broken blades and frustrations and head off to the butcher again for my next fix.

Copper - Copper is the most wonderful material to work with. It always has warmth to it no matter how hard I abuse it. A lush material. I don't lacquer any of my metals, as I prefer them to just weather.

Galvanised metal - I look for the masculine and feminine in all things and galvanised / Zincalume does not let me down here. Seen as an industrial material, I find warmth in it when I work it and polish it up.

Aluminium - My favourite material to work with. With the right blade it cuts like a hot knife through butter, being soft, light, and yet very durable and strong. It used to be the most expensive metal in England at one time - so much so that Royalty would have cutlery made from it for special occasions. Everyone, it seems, has memories of aluminium cook ware.

Jewellery materials - I use a variety of materials, such as plastic, copper, aluminium, galv, stainless steel, and found objects to make my conceptual works.

 

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