Caroline Wendling's work explores ideas of place and belonging through drawing, print and three-dimensional constructions. She attempts to give material form to the complex interconnectedness of our mental landscapes and the actual space we inhabit. Through this exploration she hopes to link memories with future aspirations and, somewhere in between, find 'home'.
As Gaston Bachelard puts it in The Poetics of Space …'Maybe it is a good thing for us to keep a few dreams of a house that we shall live in later, always later, so much later, in fact, that we shall not have time to achieve it. For a house that was final, one that stood in symmetrical relation to the house we were born in, would lead to thoughts – serious, sad thoughts – and not to dreams. It is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality.'
The starting point for her current series of work is her walk from home to studio. She creates a record though drawing of things collected along the way and she has made maps of the route, from memory, cut into planks of wood. Sounds colours and textures experienced along the way feed into the work. She is trying to capture the essence of what we mean by 'a place', any place. She is interested in the idea of the unity of time, place and action in drama and the scenario she creates around her daily journey addresses these unities. By focussing on the same walk, she explores repetition. In Difference and Repetition, Deleuze said ' The subject of the eternal return is not the same but the different, not the similar but the dissimilar, not the one but the many...'
Wendling is interested in creating works that are fragile and transient. She often uses materials given to her by other people, which carry personal meaning. She has recently been experimenting with oval plaster pieces moulded from ice cream cartons. She produced surfaces that have repetitive textures, like those created by the action of wind and water on the earth. The effect is heightened and made more enigmatic by the application of ultramarine pigment to the surface. This juxtaposition of forms pattern and colour are intended to lead to a train of thought that takes the viewer on a journey. The work was developed after a stay in Taroudant, Morocco, where the artist was struck by the furrows and mounds sculpted into the dry fields to facilitate irrigation, the bustle of the town, the richness of the light falling on painted and decaying buildings, the constant movement of the population wearing colourful fabrics – and the debris of the western world scattered everywhere.
Wendling studied at l' Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg, France and at Edinburgh College of Art.