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‘SLUMP’ BY PAUL COCKSEDGE – AN ILLUSION OF TENSION

‘SLUMP’ BY PAUL COCKSEDGE – AN ILLUSION OF TENSION

 

AUTHOR : AUBREY CHATRIOT
ARTICLE PUBLISHED ON OCTOBER 6, 2020

Hosted at the Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery, British designer and artist Paul Cocksedge’s newest series of work is a mind-bending challenge to the limits of the material world, drawing inspiration from the industrial as well as the natural. Slump is an interactive and immersive vision of interior design that elegantly manipulates light, whilst pushing the physical limits of glass to technical extremes.

 

Paul Cocksedge at Carpenters Workshop Gallery

 

Slump as a title is somewhat of a misleading one – the implied lethargy, laziness and exhaustion are the very antithesis of the reality of Slump’s highly technical and arduous manufacturing process. The entire collection exudes tension when the processual side of Slump is taken into account. The glass is stretched under high temperatures and “slumped” over natural and industrial material, including steel, concrete rock and wood. After hardening over a period of up to 72 hours the result is a smooth and crystal-clear glass surface that coats and accentuates the contours of the supporting bases.

 

 

Bubble Table, 2020, Glass and mild steel

The use of patinated mild steel in pieces like the Bubble table are critical to Paul’s desire to give the materials space to breathe. The metal tubing’s form that just peeks through the glass echoes the effect of rippling water, commanding a calming presence completely at odds with the intensity of the heat and force of the manufacturing process.

 

 

Rock Coffee Table, 2020, Glass and rock

The protective, calm nature of the slumped glass is taken a step further with the Rock coffee table series, and the accompanying Log. Again, imagery of rushing water is invoked, with slightly more irregular shapes betrayed by the glassy caps. The Rock series plays with light even further, with the underside of the glass surface being textured as to let through a beautiful pattern of light when seen from above. This play with light is reminiscent of the reflection of an aquatic surface, and Paul’s inspiration is clear – half submerged rocks and logs in the Hackney Marshes are the primary source for the series of coffee tables.

Concrete Console, 2020, Glass and concrete

 

As a collaborative, UK-based project that has come to fruition thanks to the help of a multitude of highly-skilled craftspeople and specialised techniques and machines, Slump is summed up in the Concrete Console. Like the project as a whole, the console is a collaboration of the various themes that Slump has toyed with, distilling light, materiality and tension into one. This console acts as a final piece to describe the journey of Cocksedge’s Slump, mixing different concretes and shapes that lay down the final conclusion to the series. Pipes, pillars and columns hold up the signature slumped glass in an aesthetic full-stop that once again hammers home the contrasting yet complementary themes of calm and tension that characterise this body of work.