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Marina Walsh is a finalist from the 2015/2014 round of the PPC Imaginarium. Her work plays with the solidity and supposed impermeability of cement and combines this with a way of working that draws upon traditional notions of craft. Beautiful and haunting, her work was a highlight of the sculpture category last year. Here we ask her a few questions about her visual exploration and use of cement.


Do you find the medium of cement inspirational, and how so?

I often call cement “the poor man’s bronze”. When cast and rubbed with oxides and wax and then burnished, it not only has the look of bronze, but also the weight and coldness of it. I encourage my students to convert their early clay sculptures to concrete, thereby giving them an all-round experience of modelling, mould-making casting in concrete and lastly, chopping away the plaster to reveal the sculpture.

I have a concrete sculpture in my garden that attracts hundreds of butterfly chrysalises, I think due to the lime in the cement. My conclusion is that it is not as alien to nature as for example, plastic.

Marina Walsh

What challenges did you encounter whilst working on your submission and can you offer any tips to aspiring finalists?

My biggest learning curve was that you can’t combine wet concrete with dry or set concrete - concrete does not like concrete!

What have you been up to since you were selected as a PPC Imaginarium finalist?

I have applied my “product” to a number of very large proposals and cannot wait for an opportunity to use it on a large scale!

How has being involved with the competition benefited your career?

Any art competition encourages artist to “think outside of his or her box” and this aided me in my own process. The competition has given me a lot of exposure and is definitely the beginning of something that I would like to see developed further.


Can you fill us in on your future plans?

I aim to take my sculpture further rather than start with a brand new idea. I would like to apply it to an architectural scale and will need to patent it sooner rather than later.

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