C I T H R A, Gasworks, 2019
photos Andy Keate
C I T H R A is the first solo exhibition in London by Glasgow-based artist Lauren Gault. Experimenting with unorthodox techniques and manufacturing processes, her work explores the often imperceptible changes that occur all around us, from microscopic events to geological time-scales, and confronts the ethical, political and emotional implications of human interactions with the environment.
In Gault’s sculptures, materials as diverse as polished horn, blown glass, pumped air, light, water, synthetic polymers or agricultural milk powder are transformed through processes that involve pressure, tension and release. Her work evokes fleeting encounters between radically different materialities and opens up a space for objects to communicate and resonate with one another.
The exhibition follows on from Gault’s residency at Gasworks during the spring of 2019, in which the artist researched the writings of Irish-born female explorer, inventor and self-educated scientist Martha Craig (born 1866), digging into the manuscripts and rare editions of her visionary lectures on physics.
A relative of the artist, Martha Craig published a forgotten science-fiction novel, The Men of Mars in 1907, under a mysterious pen name, ‘Mithra’. This became the point of departure for Gault’s exhibition, C I T H R A —its title an allusion to the early Zoroastrian term for ‘seed’, ‘species’ and ‘livestock’.