Llewellyn Gulch

While working as a Conservation Officer at the Big Pit National Mining Museum, Sohn became inspired by the mechanical functions and history of a breathing apparatus used to save lives during the Senghenydd coal mining disaster of 1913. Having abstracted the original form of the object Sohn related the machine to the human body and the self.

The suspended “non-hides” are comprised of discarded upholstery scraps that are machine stitched. Fragments play a significant role in museum conservation as they contain important clues to the structure and material composition of an object. Conversely, Sohn used these leather fragments to dictate the form the work.

llewelyn gulch.001

The work is designed to inhabit an interior space. Both ‘non-hides’ independently bisect the room to form an intimate and narrow yet continuously open centre. The contours nestle and link within one another, however never touch. The network of steel wires used to support both structures invite the viewer to gaze into the space underneath the skin.

“Llewellyn Gulch”, is named after one of the many hidden canyons found along the Escalante River in the American Southwest. A gulch or otherwse known as a slot canyon has vertical walls that can be hundreds of feet deep but only a few feet wide. The walls are mainly comprised of red Navajo sandstone that has been sculpted by the river over time to form narrow passageways. The name of the gulch documents the Welsh Mormon Settlement and mining immigrants to the area in the late 1800’s.

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