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Traces, acrylic and painted wood, 17 x 17 x 3cm, 2022.
Traces is an artwork that has been developed from a research project that I did at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. I worked with a palaeontologist who specialised in tree resin that had captured small insects. I found this exciting as conserving animal traces in tree resin is close to what an artist does whilst casting and mould making, preserving ideas and objects in art form. The image used to create Traces is based on a Chondrites fossil, part of the Trace Fossils sub-section in palaeontology. Trace fossils are fossils depicting a footprint, trail, burrow, or other traces of an animal rather than the animal itself. The fossil that I was focused on is thought to come from a small worm, and captures the tunnels that the animal was making. This fossil is unique because the planetary conditions in oxygen and moisture level had to be perfect for it to be created in the first place, and preserved today; the fossil may have special value if an ancient billion year old worm brings us a step closer to closing to understanding the evolutionally process.
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