Taranaki artist, Chauncey Flay brings together a diverse range of materials including coral, concrete and stone which he ties into a few key concepts around mortality and our relationship with the environment. The location and context of where the material comes from is an important aspect of the work. This is explored through a laborious and reductive physical process of deconstruction and reconstruction of materials from which an austere yet compelling aesthetic is produced. Chauncey turns commonplace materials into objects with value and meaning, completely shifting our appreciation of them.
“In all my works there is a physical process of breaking and putting back together. The language of geometry references architecture as a healing and rebuilding process. The faceting of stone is a slow and meditative reductive process that expresses the relationship between matter and time.
The ‘defence bunker’ series uses recycled concrete poured into polystyrene forms used in product packaging. These cast forms reference real World War 2 defence architecture that has fallen from their original coastal sites on from time and erosion and are part of my broader 'imagined landscapes' series.
The ‘Coralscape’ series have been made on several trips to the Cook Islands. I view coral as an natural architectural structure, which having been adversely affected by climate change, I try to reconstruct into a 'complete' form by introducing manmade materials such as concrete, builders bog, polyfiller and polystyrene. These works reference the fragility of coral reefs in the context of global warming.
The ‘bunkers’ series investigates the idea of imagined landscapes, where large pieces of fragmented greywacke bought up from underground are transformed into object landscapes with architectural fragments reminiscent of a lost civilisation. The resulting forms have a slightly ominous feel to them and sit like manmade abstract geometric structures on a barren mountain landscape.”