Fabricated onsite at Gertrude Contemporary over several months, Marmoreum extends on Sarah Ujmaia’s interest in rethinking existing structures, objects and gestures through poetic sensibility and new materialist approaches to art making.

Marmoreum, from marmoreal, refers to that made of or compared to marble. In the process of marble metamorphosis, sedimentary shell is subjected to heat, pressure, and time, structurally changing to become a fixed and valued rock.

Ujmaia’s installation has been conceived to have the material possibility of a marble floor, achieved through her production of mineral calcite (commonly known as chalk) from shell grit. It is simultaneously informed by the cobble stone paved market squares in northern Iraq—taking a standard yet irregular paver and hand casting its facsimiles to produce this floor.

Ujmaia focuses specifically on the chalk stage of marble formation, connecting it to her broader interests, including the loss of written language, systems of learning, and a close querying of materials. Interrogating materials and connecting them to discounted human histories remains a fertile space for Ujmaia, as marginalised tongues remain increasingly de-prioritised and inaccessible to current and future diasporic populations.

10 February—7 April

Gertrude Contemporary

21-31 High Street, Preston South