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Liam Jolly





carn be seen and not heard, rocks from c

Carn be seen and not heard, 2022. Rocks from Carn Brea, ephemera from artists home fridge and metal shelfs, 122cm x 400cm x 340cm

I’ve often used, and been attracted to, shelves, shop fittings and things used for commercial display. In ‘Carn be seen and not heard’ I’ve used commercial gondola shelving along with rocks from Carn Brea - a hill and former neolithic site that towers over my hometown of Redruth - to map out a remix of the iconic drum beat the Amen Break, that had I created in the work Amen Brother by playing a game of football.


Redruth is the second poorest town in Northern Europe. I was born and raised here, and am still here now. I’ve found it very hard to escape it’s working class shackles, despite frequent attempts of freedom. During lockdown I realised that I’ve now lived in the shadow of Carn Brea most of my life. It’s become an anchor of sorts to my identity, heritage and relationship to the town (both good and bad) but also when I get a little lost, a point of reference on the horizon to find my way home. I see a drum beat similarly, something that keeps things together, or a foundation on which to build and explore further possibilities.


The work presents a sculptural notated drum pattern that could be read and played by a live drummer. The shelves coincidentally echo the proportions of Carn Brea, whilst also referencing the staves of sheet music. The rocks lifted from the Carn are painted black to become singular beats, or could be seen as singular brush marks within this bigger composition that is talking about the time, place, the art object, value and hierarchies. 


The work is also littered with ephemera from my home fridge. Things that are important enough to keep, but not necessarily important enough to have a place; a recycling timetable, Tesco club card vouchers, tacky fridge magnets that people give you from their holidays abroad (that I feel incredibly uncomfortable about showing in an art gallery), through to extremely personal moments such as baby embryo pictures from a failed pregnancy. 

Carn be seen and not heard, 2022 (detail)

Carn be seen and not heard, 2022 (detail)

Copyright © Liam Jolly 2024

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