Nail Plate

Nail Plate, Acrylic on canvas with found object, 30 cm x 20 cm, Philip Bennetta, 2020

I like using commonplace materials, bringing them in a found state to the studio and I prepared canvas painted with acrylic yellow ochre and left it to dry for a few days…

During this time, I was making steps down to the stream running by the studio and I needed one last plank of timber to front the top step. I came across a sawn-off scaffold board, which had a nail-plate on one end. The metal plate was jagged at the edges, not something to have protruding from a step, so I removed it. However, I felt attached to the nail-plate and compelled to save it…

So when the steps were complete, I took the nail-plate to the studio and instinctively placed it in position, on the canvas. I spent several hours thinking and experimenting how to attach it to the canvas. Should I introduce other materials? What to use? I was questioning and careful of my own process throughout. Should I work with the found object or make a photo-real painting of it(?) Bring the real thing into the white space, I heard myself say…

So here then is the ‘sculpture’ and to finish my tale, I decided to reference the timber of the stretcher and the metal of the nail plate, rather than introduce new materials and, with two lengths of fine wire and corner stretcher supports, I stitched the nail-plate to the canvas, bringing this humble found object to this art space.

Thank you for reading the back-story to Nail Plate

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