Rubber Works

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A series of works made between 1988 and 1991 from recycled rubber inner-tubes. Here on show at the Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield.

The sculptures and drawings were developed with this installation in mind. The walls of rubber were cut and woven. The rubber sculptures were sewn, knotted and wound. The drawings were inspired by female mythology stories.

The pieces resulted from extensive research about rubber's history and are a playful response to it's tactile qualities. Susan explored the origins of rubber in Brazil, its propagation for industrial use in the 19th century and the story of Chico Mendes- the head of the Brazilian Rubber Tappers Union in the 1980's. Chico Mendes became a hero after he was assassinated by the local logging families because they didn't like the fact that he was campaigning against logging and deforestation. His murder attracted international press and put the issue of the deforestation of the Brazilian rainforest on the map. Images here show a rubber tree with latex weeping out, rubber samples and his home in Xapori, taken when Susan went on a pilgrimage to research his life, see his home and see the forests where rubber originates.

Date: 1990

Measurements: 6 metres high

Material: rubber inner-tubes and thread

Provenance: Sheffield UK

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