RockRaft: Simon Starling 2008
“SIMON STARLING – Rockraft
Against the backdrop of Long’s drawings, Simon Starling presents a new commission comprising of two roughly cut but apparently identical lumps of rock displayed on large white plinths. One of these rocks, a ton and a half of locally sourced inferior oolite has made an epic journey on its plinth which in this case doubled as a simple raft. Propelled by the considerable power of September’s spring tide, the rock made its way 5 miles from Avonmouth into Bristol’s historic Floating Habour. The Avon has the second highest tide in the world, often reaching 14.2 metres. Following this initial tidal voyage, the rock has then made a subsequent journey, its rough-hewn form momentarily ‘dematerialised’ into a stream of digital data and transposed in minute detail onto another block of stone using a computer-guided milling machine – its almost science fiction-like, high-tech transposition playfully parodying the simplicity and economy of the original rocks river run.
An important exchange is created between the two artists within the gallery space:- Long, whose work has influenced so many, an artist from a pioneering, even iconic generation, and Starling, an exceptional artist whose practice could not have formed as it has without the impact of Long and his peers. These are artists with differing methods of engagement with landscape, their interests ranging from personal experience, to the forces of energy constructed through nature and includes the use of the most highly sophisticated technologies available today.” Source