Sam Porritt Grist to the Mill

Sam Porritt: Grist to the Mill

29 September, 2016

‘Grist To The Mill’ is a kinetic installation that combines Sam Porritt’s work in sculpture and drawing, on show at Vitrine Gallery.

With ‘Grist To The Mill’ Porritt touches on the interconnected ideas of growth and progress, how they relate to the individual and by extension the society in which they exist. The title ‘Grist To The Mill’ is an idiom that is synonymous with capitalism, meaning at its simplest that ‘everything can be turned for profit’. At the same time it invokes a sense of being enmeshed in a relentless process that we are powerless to arrest.

Sam Porritt Grist to the Mill

The sculpture consists of a series of large interconnected cogs featuring drawings of faces that endlessly turn on each other, the expressions of the faces appearing to comment on their own sorry predicament. The work rests on the relationship between the steady grinding of the cogs and the expressive, swiftly drawn lines of the faces. As Joanna Fiduccia described in ‘The Swift Face’ – an essay published in a book of Porritt’s drawings – “The face is swift on two accounts: quick to announce itself in the world, and quick to change its aspect. Expressions flash up, flicker across, crash over the surface of the face like a wave.“

Appropriately on show at this moment of political and economic uncertainty, ‘Grist To The Mill’ succinctly sums up what it is to be at the mercy of our times, hostage to our own biology and subject to external forces beyond our control.

Sam Porritt Grist to the Mill
Sam Porritt Grist to the Mill

Images courtesy of the artist. Feature image courtesy of  VITRINE, London. Photographer Jonathan Bassett. 

See more of Sam Porritt’s work:

‘Grist to the Mill’ is on show at Vitrine Gallery from 30 September – 12 November 2016.