Before I forget and there’s no slackers here, November 2014, Installation
The installation was formed from two separate works: the floor piece – ‘Before I forget’, and the wall piece – ‘There’s no slackers here’. The floor piece is constructed in such a way that it can be formed and reformed. Made up of wooden beams and wooden angle joints, the final construction references the idea of scaffolding or the carcass of an unclad building. The development of a modular construction material within my practice was a very intentional one; the standardised lengths with male and female joints allow for structures to be made in the gallery site with ease and speed. One of the focal points of my work is the relationship between the act of play and the development of artworks and this modular system is an outcome of that interest.
The floor piece acts as both a three dimensional drawing, or a compositional device, and a structure or plinth for other objects. They may sit upon, hang from, or build from the structure, allowing a more complex composition to form. The specific objects that feature in this permutation of the work are a pair of metal adornments from my grandparents’ former fireplace. The objects have a personal significance and attachment to childhood memories. My cousins, brothers and I would all play with these metal decorations. The moment we realised that they came away form their proper place they were forever in a child’s hands. This tactile urge to manipulate objects, to gain a physical knowledge of another thing is one of the reasons they feature in this work.
The other components, the crumpled gradated forms that hang from the structure, are the products of a past work. They are formed over time from flecks of textile collected with spray glue on an adhesive backed paper. The device, purpose made for the production of this material, features in the installation too, as the joining point between floor and wall.
In the second work, ‘There’s no slackers here’, you see a screen print of the inside of my studio where I am holding up an image by the late American photographer Lewis W. Hine. The photograph was taken in the 1930’s and shows workers constructing the Empire State Building. Extending out of this image from one of the massive industrial cables that holds the weight of girders and men comes a small 6 mm diameter elasticated green bungee cord. It protrudes out into the room past tools and other ephemera, off to the edge of the second image: the studio. Once there the bungee cord bursts out of the image, out over the edge of the frame and off across the gallery walls.