12/12/22’ Installing in C131. (KEY EVENT 2)

Having a day and a half to empty the studio, clean/ paint etc gave me a small window for installing the work but inspired by the room itself works fell into place pretty quickly. I managed to secure this room to install in which I was pleased about because I feel the specific architecture of C131 to be a working mix of domestic and industrial language.

The Victorian bay window with views of trees and redbrick buildings, and 70’s radiator emit a certain domesticity to me which is offset by the brilliant white paint, concrete coloured floor and strip lighting. As a room we become aware it is an outcome of metamorphosis. It has a past, imperfections, piping tuning through it... an odd shape as if being divided, repurposed over the years.

It is not a space built perfectly, or with the sole purpose of exhibiting art works. It is a multi-functional room, and a compromise - while at the same time being extremely brightly lit. It sits in this perfect half way zone which is just where my works sit.

Installing, I knew two things immediately. Remembering a recent talk from a University trip to Dafna Talmor and Hannah Hugues’ ‘Glossaries’ show at Sid Motion gallery, I knew I wanted the key work of this install/ the element that tied everything together [Ophelia at the airport, 2022. (Aluminium powder & acrylic silkscreen print on chipboard W/ x5 C-prints, & London commons bricks)] to be immediately visible as one entered the room, on the wall directly opposite the door so to be in a natural line of sight. Secondly, I knew that it’s companion work [Ophelia airport printout, 2022. (Aluminium powder & acrylic silkscreen print on paper W/ thermoplastic, bungie cords, & ply)] would sit to the right on the corner that has been cut off of the room. The two works thus able to be compared - one as an extraction of the other.

Once these where hung it was a matter of reacting to the complex architecture of the room. In the build-up to moving into the room I had prepared various plinths - knowing certain works would be on the wall and some would occupy the floor space. I had the box of toys and now I began to play with them. A good friend of mine, who shares a similar sculptural practice, and I have come to understanding such spaces as the artists playground. I treat the room like a playground for most of a day, a playground of which there are certain rules, but the overarching element is playfulness. One must have the space to move and to play, but one is to encounter obstacles and be disrupted. Anything within this playground is an obstacle of potential play - not just the artworks that you bring. Inhabiting a space in this way, architecture and plumbing become elements newly recognised as they integrate with the brought artworks. I play with the works around these forms, and after a while objects find their own space.

Certain works having a front and a back obviously found different spaces to those produced more akin to paintings. Being a work in progress show I decided early on that there was no point in being minimal! I am having fun and I grabbed the opportunity for myself to experience these recent works in a larger exhibiting space free of extra distractions. Open to variation, I have no specifics for the evolution of the showing of these particular works. They exist individually as well as part of a whole. I would happily show all of them again, or half, or two. They shift and they move, and I find only a dampening of excitement and inspiration in creating too rigid of a structure for my work. I have tried to do it before, and I have realised it’s not what I am about. I would have no issues showing a print from 5 years ago with a sculpture from this show if the situation was right. I have labelled this install, given it a name, a statement... but that doesn’t mean anything really, it’s all open to changing again - I am just doing my best to describe what they are right now and how they existed in that room.

To do anything more than that feels contrived, or for some other purpose or standardised professional practice outside of my own will and enjoyment as an artist. Like I said I have done it so many times before, but I am trying to get myself out of bad habits and be more honest with myself and my work.