Rups Cregeen is a multi-disciplinary artist investigating coast: ecology, rock, tide, sea, light and navigation. Work attempts to excavate and decode a kaleidoscope of memories and explores human place in the world. Outcomes vary between two-dimensional and three-dimensional responses, with great interest in the composition and curation of multiple situations or experiences. Materials chosen echo landscape and natural forms contrasting with vibrant colour choices taken from an 80’s surf culture.
In this body of work, completed during an MA at UCA, Farnham, the work is largely three dimensional created using the ancient method of sand-casting bronze. The method requires intuition and faith as it is created blind, by excavating a negative space in sand. Molten bronze is then poured in this space and the bronze form is exhumed from the earth, once cool.
I Am, You Fearful One (the title taken from a Rilke poem) is a low-lying display of marine bronze species, born from sand, and gathered in a discomforting invasion of a tiled sanatorium bathroom. Tiled plinths of differing heights, create an illusory coastal landscape of tiled islands and rock pools, populated by cephalopods, critters and urchins. These animals appear spikey, aggressive and defensive but in reality, are vulnerable and fearful. This concept is embodied by Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet in which he writes, “Perhaps everything terrifying is deep down a helpless thing that needs our help.” (Rilke,2006:44)
The walls are a psychiatric ward green and allude to institutional paranoia and feelings of entrapment. A dreamlike tableau of symbolic creatures adopt active psychological and anthropomorphic characteristics. The unauthorised invasion of a locked bathroom space is unsettling and asks us to consider our own privacy and wonder; who is observing who?
References to water comment on global warming, droughts and drying aquifers. It is as if the water has drained out of the plug, leaving animals struggling to breathe, marooned in waterways desiccated by drought. As a symbol of hope, embryonic samples of sea-water are captured in glass petri-dishes with the hope of starting new life. All life once started in the ocean and may have to once again.
Rups graduated in 2020 with a (First Class) BA Hons in Fine Art at UCA Farnham and was awarded the Elfrieda Windsor Scholarship to study an MA at UCA, Farnham. She has exhibited extensively in London, Jersey, Middlesborough, Ireland and Surrey.
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