Manon Awst at Plas Brondanw

On Eryri’s western edges, the place there was as soon as a tidal estuary and thriving maritime group, now sits the sixteenth-century mansion Plas Brondanw. Its grounds are presently occupied by an elegantly located suite of sculptural work by Manon Awst that, knowledgeable by long-term analysis into peatland restoration on the artist’s house island of Ynys Môn, excavates the positioning’s watery prehistories. Spanning sculpture, poetry, and documentation of performances and lab experiments, the show builds on Awst’s latest exhibition at Berlin’s PSM, through which she synthesized uncooked earthly materials with signifiers of touristic artifice (assume inflatable floats and seashore balls) to startling poetic impact. Turning her emphases additional but towards the waterways and wetlands of her native landscapes, the work at Brondanw attracts from native mythopoetic histories and a preferred imaginary rife with associations between water and cultural loss.

Processes of mapping and translation of and between (the artist’s) physique and panorama underpin Dan bwysau (Underneath Strain, all works cited 2023)—a pair of limestone boulders extracted from a close-by quarry and separated by a thick steel pole—and Mynd i gors (Slowed down)

 a gaggle of drone photos depicting the artist mendacity alongside an identical sculpture in a peat fen. Samples of crushed Anglesey mussels, pulped grasses, and seaweeds, displayed on tables upstairs as Materials Archive, successfully complement these sculptures’ intermingling of playfulness (guests are invited to stroll on the steel pole) and melancholy. On the core of Awst’s embodied engagement with geological narratives is an acute interrogation of the methods through which deep-time and land-based knowledges construction present-day social preparations, significantly as pertains to linguistic and sophistication inequity and ecological instability on this nook of northern Europe.

Plans for installations, thoughts maps, and sketchbooks have been sensitively included, all punctuated by handwritten textual content in a seemingly intuitive combination of Welsh, English, and German. One other within the present’s arsenal of conceptual instruments (and maybe its most evocative throughline) is the choice from Arwydd arall (One other signal), a collection of brief poems within the strict meter of cynghanedd, printed on brown highway indicators. Cynghanedd, an oral custom whose inflexible strictures allow a uniquely melodic poetics, is an apt medium for an artist who constantly probes the capability of present materials (whether or not sculptural, linguistic, or each without delay) for propositional, speculative, even fantastical ends: a mode of eco-inclined sculpture each refreshingly undidactic and distinctly up to date.