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Tim Diggles: Borg Botanicals

Mark Woolley Gallery, Portland
Jun 5, 2001 - Jun 30, 2001


Tim Diggles, Crataegus Mussirio Ne (2001),
machine parts, stainless steel

Tim Diggles is funny. His images are hilarious and he claims that there is no social statement in his work. They come with titles such as Crataegus Replicator (Latin for thorn), Feed Alternator, Anti-body Infuser, Crataegus Capsicum Frutesens and Borg Botanicals (the title of the exhibition). For those who may not know what the Borg do, they reproduce by replicating what they are not.

Most of Diggles' work is made of George's chocolate clay body. This is his strongest organic material. Also featured in almost all of the artist's free standing sculpture is a bundle of Russian olive tree branches that have been toted around for fifteen years.

"Artistic sense and science sense", as Diggles states, interact in these works. Diggles is creating a dichotomy between nature and machine. Some of the pieces are even designed to be the creators of connected forms within the sculptures. For example, in Diggles' wall-hanging pieces, the Body Snatching-like forms which he refers to as "pods" are the real creators of these free-standing pieces.

Design is one of the elements that Diggles takes seriously. His drawings are mathematical equations, even factoring in the shrinkage percentage of a clay body after it has been fired. One of Diggles' free standing branch pieces begins with an organic form feeding a machine form. It includes a plumber's band-aid, which supports a bent form, that could suggest either a flying saucer or a sand dollar. Out of the top of the piece is a thorned "pricker stick". These encounters from a third world must come from where imagination and humour meet. You will understand this artist's world when you see these pieces. "There is a sense of humour to art, period.", says Tim Diggles.

© Robert Peterson