“Spider Tale” (2018)
Uranium glass, metal wire and UV lights
3.6m x 3.8m x 2.3m
“Spider Tale” is a work similar to “What the Bird’s New”, in that it engages with uranium glass as a material, and is inspired by the connections between materiality and folklore, and the prevalence of folk tales featuring spiders, ants and other insects that warn of the danger of sites of rich natural uranium deposits around the world. In particular it is point of reference is the local folk tale of a spider that aboded in the mountains of Ningyo Toge, on the border of Tottori and Okayama Prefectures, Japan, above what is the only site in Japan where uranium has been mined. According to the tale, the bodies of travellers that tried to take the mountain pass were found tangled in spider web, and sported marks from a giant spider’s fangs.
It also pays homage to the the Anansi ‘Spider Tales’ of Afro-American and Carribean cultures, as oral traditions that seek to impart wisdom.