forty rusty screws project

The studio roof is now fixed and the culprits, 40 rusty screws, is a current work in progress (apparently 95% of the leaks in metal roofs are due to poorly fitted screws, which rust and let water through) 

The opening quotation comes from my published notes in 2019, when I began this project. However, the actual reason the studio roof leaked and the screws became rusty was due to condensation forming within the roof structure, and not rain dripping and pouring in. A new roof, coated with an anti-condensation product, has now replaced the old one. So, with a dry space in which to work, I return to the project and coat each of the rusty screws with two coats of PVA to retain their integrity and history. I then attach these endearing found objects on a golden acrylic canvas, backed with timber, each one secured by a robust U nail…

(Note: If the work were to be hung in a gallery/white space, I would have them attached directly to the wall, as with other work I have made)

forty rusty screws, found objects on canvas, P.R. Bennetta, 2020

forty rusty screws

The studio roof is now fixed and the culprits, 40 rusty screws, is a current work in progress (apparently 95% of the leaks in metal roofs are due to poorly fitted screws, which rust and let water through) 

The opening quotation comes from my published notes in 2019, when I began this project. However, the actual reason the studio roof leaked and the screws became rusty was due to condensation forming within the roof structure, and not rain dripping and pouring in. A new roof, coated with an anti-condensation product, has now replaced the old one. So, with a dry space in which to work, I return to the project and coat each of the rusty screws with two coats of PVA to retain their integrity and history. I then mount them on a golden acrylic canvas, backed with timber, to elevate these endearing found objects, each one secured by a robust U nail…

forty rusty screws, found objects on canvas, P.R. Bennetta, 2020

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

Sun-day

We have just started working on our most recent edition of cyanotypes, from our home on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, UK. The first “test” set have cooked in the sun, had a very good wash and now drying overnight. We hope to complete the main body of work by the end of the week. Here’s a selection of photographs from the site, where we are working, more later…