photos: corey rankin

Clusters of arm-length molded-fibre cylinders hang under the open wooden treads of Articulate’s indoor stairwell. Their materiality is immediately recognisable as fruit trays, lightweight recyclable packaging that helps keep individual fruits from damage and blemish in transit.

At a local market, Ferracin noticed a worker carrying a load of empty trays and responded to the immediate appeal of their gentle cradling shapes and neutral-toned fibrous materiality. The fruiterer was happy to give her piles of empty trays and she set to work, hands-on, experimenting, to finally discover a systematic technique of drenching, wrapping, binding and drying each tray, transforming it from rectilinear plane to curvilinear volume without the use of glues.

photo: corey rankin (left)
The bumpy cylinders reminded her of the nests of paper wasps, mud wasps - the fruits in their cardboard cradles, protected, like the insects’ progeny in their tiny intuitive architectures. There is much intuition at work, allowed, invited, in Ferracin’s practice. She collects materials, responding to first impressions, gut feelings, instinctive sparkles of metaphor and reference, then interrogates those materials, sensations and liminal notions through active engagement, experimentation, failure and revision. She seeks to locate and occupy, balance upon, points of slightly unstable coherence between the engineered artifice of manufacture and the emergent wonders of natural selection.

In one of those peculiar coincidences the Universe offers from time to time, scientists very recently announced the first observation of the effects of gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago. A visualisation aid used to interpret this most esoteric and elusive challenge of contemporary physics, on, is an identical form to the intuitively rolled bumpy cardboard cylinders of Ferracin’s social.

text: gary warner