My sculpture ‘Beached’ has been installed at WW Gallery’s Patio Project for the last week exposed to the same harsh British summer we’ve all been subjected to. I prefabricated the sculpture in my studio and instead of hiring a van decided to transport all 50 foots worth of timber the 30 minute walk from studio to site by hand. Roping in some muscle for hire we broken it down into parts, strapped it to a couple of dollies and started our journey. Below are some shots of her maiden voyage through to reconstruction at the Patio Project.
Beached is viewable 24/7 at 30 Queensdown Road, London E5 8NN until 29th July.
Many thanks goes to the generous support of Alan Magee for his logistical prowess and muscle along with the keen eye and steady hand of Marion May for her excellent documentation of this wacky adventure.
A little while ago I mentioned an upcoming project which would see me create my first sculpture as part of WW Gallery’s Patio Projects, a temporary public art program. Each month over the past year an artist has been selected to install a piece on the front patio of WW former gallery space in Hackney Downs overlooking the park.
Here are a couple of the previous projects to grace the site –
For Patio Project #9 Andy Wicks has created ‘Beached’, a towering sculptural assemblage and minimalist recreation of the mooring structures which can be found along the banks of our city’s river. ‘Beached’ takes its initial inspiration from the visceral materiality of these wooden structures: which stained by weathering, rusted and rotten, evoke the history of the central artery of London’s trade industry.
Metaphorically ‘salvaged’ from the beaches of the Thames, the driftwood of our forgotten industrial past finds itself re-imagined, stripped back, reassembled and beached on a domestic patio. Removed from its tide-washed context, and juxtaposed instead, with the architectural language of such residential anomalies as recycling bins, estate agent signs and trellis fencing.
Erased of barnacles, ropes, algae and the other ephemera of its romantic riverside associations, ‘Beached’ becomes an inexplicable object in this residential landscape.
Over the last week I have been working non stop on ‘Beached’ and I’m glad to say its now complete. Moving chunky 3 metre long lengths of wood around the studio was a bit of a challenge but I soon found I took it in my stride (albeit a very different type of studio session compared to handling 30 x 20 cm canvases!). For a couple of days the arch of the form was hanging somewhat precariously from the beams of the studio roof but suddenly with some high altitude drilling and a couple of bolts it became freestanding and a real sight to behold as it towered over me and the rest of the studio. Whilst not wanting to reveal too much of the final form, below are a selection of more ambiguous shots of the work in progress. The sculpture will be unveiled on Thursday 5th July 6 – 7pm and will be on display to the public come rain or shine through to 29th July.
WW Gallery Patio Projects – 30 Queensdown Road Hackney Downs E5 8NN
Keen observers may notice I wrote a similar post back in December (Back to the Studio) when I took on a sublet following months of studio wilderness. But this time its different. Rewind back to the final days of the Florence Trust residency where myself and a number of the artists sat down with plans for a shared space and a continuation of the energy that we’d created during that year. We had some false starts along the way, seeing spaces with real potential which for one reason or another fell through (some at the 11th hour).
Having spent a year in each of my 2 studios previous studios, followed by 4 months in the recent sublet I’d had enough of moving around or using the temporary nature as an excuse for not having the correct set up. I guess for me this idea of the perfect studio could mirror someones desire to make a good home; having all your belongings around you and spaces which appeal to varying sides of ones personality, or in terms of a studio, space to work in multiple disciplines. The luxury of space at the Florence Trust (doubling on my previously studio square footage) was one that I wasn’t prepared to give up. I want to invest in my studio, for it to be big enough that my work isn’t compromised and that I can grow into it over time and not feel the need to upgrade when a big project comes along. I recently brought Sanctuary – Britains Artists and their Studios, a huge book interviewing 100+ artists in their studios, i’m interested in how different set ups work for different types of practitioner and have been making mental notes of things that could work well in the new studio.
I’ll be sharing the studio with Alan Magee who I was at the Florence Trust with. A multi disciplinary artist who I recall introduced himself by saying he does everything but paint. And now that this painter is dabbling with sculpture, photography and printmaking its going to be an exciting to watch things develop.
The new studio is run by Space England’s largest provider of studios with a community of around 700 studio artists. Alan and I will be sharing 550sq foot of studio with plenty of natural light from skylights and window it offers flexibility, storage and space for work to live before being unleashed. It needs a lick of paint on the walls and floor as well as bit of storage built which will keep us busy for the coming weeks as we slowly move bits over.
On the note of developments its probably a good opportunity to mention one of the first major projects I will be working on in the studio. I’m going to be making a site specific sculpture as part of WW Gallery’s Patio Projects, a temporary public art commission which sees a sculptural work installed at the front of their space on a residential East London street. The piece is going to be 3 metres high and constructed from found wood, ideally driftwood with which I will be using to make a sculptural realization of one of my painted river mooring construction (or should that be a recreation of the original structures?). I’ve wanted to work with wood for some time and am excited to seeing how this will turn out and gauging reaction.