What truths are revealed when we peel back the layers from the material world we have constructed around ourselves? Which of these will we celebrate? In a quest for ‘perfect’ surfacing, how deeply buried is the human body that exerted itself for the sake of creation, conception, making?

My explorationbegan with visits back to the construction site, a bastion from a previous life spent pursuing excellence of the built: room, product, vision.

No longer seeking only the pristine exterior, I found in the debris, the signs and sounds of everything that goes underneath. My focus: the frenetic drama of activity and skill that takes place behind the scenes, followed by the quiet aftermath of resolved spaces, where only chosen surfaces speak.

Unsungis a series of works where I have used the workings and trappings of craft that are integral to the construction of our built environment, yet remain destined to be hidden from sight, touch, and ultimately appreciation.

Each piece is an impression, an imprint, reflecting the rhythm and weight of months spent connecting rudimentary tools between canvas and body. The heaviness of wood formwork, released from containing the pressure of concrete, now worked and sandwiched between skin and fabric. The tautness of the humblestring, soaked, stretched, released, reworked. The sharpness of metal lathe pressing into fibres so differently than it does into plaster, now the blade not the sink. These are the tools, but what of the skin and the bones? Holding in place the cool porcelain we have chosen to see are the textured teeth behind, rough, raw, patterned to suit indifference, not beauty. Will we look, or simply look away?

Layered into the paint, cement, and silver leaf is the story of the hands, feet, muscles, and tendons that have stretched and compressed along with each medium. In repeating and reworking each gesture a cadence forms, its tempo a labouring beat, now heard on cloth.

Is this creation, now revealed from the inside out, a metaphor then, or an echo? The viewer will decide.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Usman Ansari