Writing on Dwellings
This site specific sculpture has evolved from the topic perpetuated by the media regarding a shift in the economy in 2009. It deals with the proposal of a city undergoing intense change and highlights our innate reaction to rebuild structure and routine; that is, to survive.
The effective alteration of the function of the materials and readymade objects allows the work to move between sculpture and architecture as well as draw legacies of minimalism and constructivism. The language of the utilitarian readymade, reflects the instinctive human reaction to rebuild one’s life and surroundings in a time of global or personal crisis. The effective alteration of the function of these components allows the work to move between sculpture and architecture as well as draw legacies of minimalism and constructivism.
My work combines the elements of dwellings and recycling of materials. The re-use of the wheelie bin is a statement in itself! Essentially by choosing a readymade object that denies any aesthetic association, there is a conscious decision to maintain the functional integrity of the material. The bins operate as units and in themselves are independent with a nomadic and survival disposition which recalls the ethos behind Krzysztof Wodiczko’s ‘vehicles’. They entertain the idea of portability and transport remaining recognisable despite the fact that their functionality is altered.
My practise involves sourcing building materials that instinctively slot together appropriating the universal metric systems of the construction industry. In this way plumbing materials link to waste disposal units that connect to transport design in a surprising symbiosis of form. They are controlled and carefully measured to successfully support the weight of each other and are slotted into a grid-like framework, representational in construction and scaffolding. It is important that assemblage becomes a key part of my practise whereby authorship is about the construction of the sourced components.
The viewer is removed from reality through the proposition of the pipes used in the construction of the structure but on the other hand, is invited into a presentation of architectural multiples that evoke the idea of dwellings. Samuel Beckett’s play, Endgame, 1957, illustrates the notion of this confusion and absurdity where Nagg and Nell (Hamm’s parents) live in rubbish bins. This concept is not far from reality by any means, as rubbish bins often provide shelter and food for displaced members of society.
This project is a response to the current recessional effects like housing repossessions and evictions. A situation which has altered and even corrected our behavioural patterns, encouraging us to revert to a more basic lifestyle, surroundings and recycling materials as well as ready-made objects.
The sculpture is parasitical to the space. The shape of the architectural and geometric format is reminiscent of a cityscape, and more so, an alleyway. This generates an atmosphere of precaution. Going through the sculpture and under a wheelie bin produces a slight feeling of claustrophobia that is directly related to the interior space of the bin representing a dwelling, similar to a pod hotel. The wing mirrors and the overhead convex mirror are intended to counter the sense of fear as they provide security for the inhabitants but at the same time highlight anxiety because the viewer is consciously aware that they are under surveillance.