Calum Stirling

Image: Remote Village,
Copyright the artist 2019

Calum Stirling - Corundum:

Sapphires, hand-cut acetate record and photographs.
TGOZ, Travelling Gallery Show.

Documentation of a project in the Central Queensland communities of Sapphire, Rubyvale and Emerald to fossick for sapphires. The traditional gemstone when cut and faceted used in the cutting heads to cut vinyl record master disks. A project about sound, mining, landscape and sculpture. Presented as a series of artifacts from uncut sapphires to the final hand-cut record.

Using a temporary license to fossick for gemstones the artist and partner drove 2000 kilometers from Canberra to spend time in these Central Queensland mining communities, where 90% of the worlds sapphires are mined. Collecting a small film canister of sapphire, zircon and rubies the raw stones were returned to the UK for faceted and polishing, eventually becoming an extension of the earlier artwork Longplayer. Longplayer is an artist made record cutting machine commissioned by NGCA in Sunderland for the show Use Nor Ornament in 2000 designed for cutting long durational recording that documented the voices of Sunderland shipyard workers. An project to relearn the process of recording the human voice using a palette of natural materials to capture moments of fading history.