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“Packing the Gaps” by Luke Beech

The middle child of a non-traditional family from Bolton, I have always been fortunate enough to have access to a wide variety of expertise on different trade practices such as shutter fitting, gardening, plastering and electrics.

These directly impact upon my own artwork and the thought processes behind it. I consider myself an avid ‘people watcher’ and find that a lot of my social observations can sometimes surface – sometimes unintentionally – through my work. Currently studying Fine Art at Hull School of Art and design, I am due to graduate in 2016.

With a strong interest in working environments, labour and the everyday urban world – I tend to look towards industries and infrastructural systems to draw inspiration from. A lot of my work plays between materiality and association as I look towards transforming objects and symbols which usually embody, epitomise or at the very least comment on their relevant trade or craft.

My practise primarily encompasses both sculpture and printmaking with a more responsive approach to whatever materials I find. I juggle with sculptural traditions and more contemporary concerns whilst also initiating awareness of both tactile and physical qualities. I enjoy balancing or contrasting juxtaposing elements together in one situation or piece of work – such as the relationships between hard and soft, solid and linear, sculptural and conceptual or 2D and 3D elements.

An underlying focus on people and the traces and systems that societies and individuals leave is evident in a majority of my work. It relates to, and comments on, modern day humanity and the work that has gone into crafting our society.

A site visit to the Port of Hull kick-started my project. The working environment full of machinery, maritime equipment and debris became somewhat like a giant playground or toy box in my eyes - I was captivated by everything from the towering cranes to the flaking paints which revealed the rust on the disused shipping containers. Surrounded by a mixture of powerful machinery and raw materials, the port provided a well of endless sculptural inspiration.

This supported experience has set me on a path for undertaking more public commissions and has taught me invaluable skills on how to approach what had previously seemed like monumental tasks. Through the success of this project, we will hopefully open up further opportunities for other students and emerging artists to produce fresh and exciting work. As well as this, a project of this scale provides invaluable experience for me assisting with future work and developing relationships with other industries and organisations.