Images courtesy of Jessica Wetherly

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Artist’s text explores compression, combustion, and burning desire from the perspective of a fossil becoming fuel. Commissioned for Jessica Wetherly’s graduating MA Sculpture show – // Laboratory { – at the Royal College of Art, June 2019.  


It was unbearable, born of closeness, paralysing. Like broken beasts we slumped over (tucked into folded into) one another breathlessly awaiting reanimation (please, breathe fire back into my to-be molten body). You would have done the same under the circumstances (and we never know who or when) change starts with each one of us. It starts with that opportune moment, a mass portrait in rock (one of those ported-in-locket profiles of the beloved) forever ever (yours). A pellet of selves, a palette-thin slice – here – it wasn’t given freely. Paid in pain, remembrance so painstakingly slow. Weight (like nothing you have ever known) for that one-off imprint, a death mask (maybe diagnosis). We all go down we all go down together! we are all a brick in the wall, in the world. This matter at hand, it matters so heavily, this matter is at the heart of what we hold Dear, to value is not necessarily to cherish – there’s no need to be precious about it why – some things are (seen to be) made to be destroyed. All transformation is violent. Assets are better liquid. Each eon leaks its black slick slither, wet waste.

It was burning. It was total blowout, end-of-the-line time to buy / to burn off some energy / to blow off some steam / to make the most / to the ends of the earth. Just been so stressed something had to go why not everything (just let go) burn this house to the ground. It was beyond all control. The control groups escaped their confines and the rest were stone still stunned. Petrifying.

It was rock bottom. But before, in the beginning, riverbed soft – a blink of silt wrapping a moment in its sentimental sediment testament to that time we had together at last. When you love that much that you want to (press yourself into) together. A new compound noun. For who or how many – how much?


Jessica Wetherly’s 
// Laboratory {
Silicon, glass, wax, perspex, mirror, steel, Arduino, LCD, PVC, insulation foam, de-ionised water, fluorescene, plastic, glitter, koraform.

Images courtesy of Jessica Wetherly