The Not-Doings are large, organic sculptures made from recycled materials, suspended to form a colony. This work reflects my interest in change and transformation and resulted from an investigation into rites of passage. It takes its title from The Eagle's Gift, one of a controversial series of books by Carlos Castaneda popular in the 1960s and 70s, in which the author tells of being suspended from a tree all night in a "Not-Doing", a rite of passage on his path to becoming a shaman. The Not-Doings were inspired by the lives of insects, in particular a magnificent wasps nest made of natural paper mâché that hangs in the Natural History Museum in Oxford, and the metamorphic forms of chrysalises familiar from childhood. Their ambiguity and human scale introduce a sense of the uncanny. They are waiting to emerge, hovering on the threshold of becoming something else.
The Not-Doings have been exhibited in various locations in London and Oxford, including the Royal Festival Hall where they were shown as part of Pestival, a science-art collaboration on the subject of insects. At Pestival I led children's workshops in which a further huge, chrysalis-like form was constructed from a framework of willow interwoven with recycled paper and fabric.