Matthew Quentin Midtskau - Dawns to Come Without Me
Jane 2021, August
Dawns to Come Without Me numbers twelve sinuous wood structures – figures poised in a momentary arrangement within and in front the Jane pavilion. Three stand safely behind glass inside it, nine others scattered in a field just outside. Those outside carry water filters, some one, some more. They are light and unsteady, secured from being blown over by slightest winds with bricks placed on the grass beneath them. One brick from the neighbouring armoury walls under each figure, the two bound together with string.
The structures are made on site with branches from deciduous trees selected in the surrounding forest, each branch whittled in a manner the artist likens to brushstrokes in painting, while his fragile constructions whose joinery is executed with the precision of a jeweller, stem from the domain of handwriting turned into tenuous drawings in space.
Dawns to Come Without Me is an elegy bearing forth an existential tremor, a resonance that is palpable in the handling of materials and the figures that comprise it.
It gathers branches, charcoal, stones, sand, glass, paper, oil stain and brick into bodies of merging sinews, inscribing DNA spirals and runes, sigils and veins, formed into strange, uncertain archetypes that offer vessels to purify water. These are working filters in glass bottles that hang from wiry frames. Tools.
Midtskau’s sculptures have an aura of sketches born from reflections on necessity, on temporal forces and memories of archaic geometry, the same forces embedded in the mind’s pathways as in the twists of the branches he speaks through.
It is a story of time, perhaps of running out of time, not only because of current threats to human and non–human life, but also because of the persistent, perishable Me the work’s title points to, and all the other mes that have come before and will come after this particularly poignant telling in an ongoing human story.