As the closing/opening looms on Thursday, and today (Tuesday) I feel the physical effect of several hours spent covering a sculpture in foil or covering a wall with balloons, I reflect on some of the themes in my recent work in OVADA:
I was aware of the predominance of wood in the space, which I felt offered a couple of questions: In what ways can the hardness of wood be differentiated from other materials? In what ways can the colour of wood be differentiated? Not being much of a painter (and thinking that the wooden surface could go further than just becoming ‘painted wood’) I considered wallpaper as a possible solution. What’s great about wallpaper is that it’s a classic means of disguising material, unifying any disparate elements, and replacing its surface with a visual pattern whilst retaining its overall form. Bearing in mind the original Merzbau’s setting in Schwitter’s home, I also thought the use of wallpaper would be a playful nod to the domestic within the workshop setting of OVADA. I really enjoyed how these coverings altered the character of the structures and subsequently affected their relationship to surrounding objects.
Maintaining the form while altering its material perception was a key goal for covering the square pillar in wallpaper, as well as covering the ‘Thing’ sculpture in foil. In retrospect, I suppose the use of aluminium foil is also a reference to the domestic, but my desire to use foil came from a curiousity about how it could offer a very different material presence to that of wood. As a covering, foil transforms things in a manner similar to wallpaper (albeit with much more textural detail) but it also has this unmistakable sort of space-age quality. This prompted me to use the foil on its own in a spatial arrangement.
Balloons add a softness to the environment and highlight areas of containment within the space. They are also another means to introduce new colours and patterns. Between the two balloon pieces there is a great contrast in colour, and I enjoyed observing the effect generated by one set of coloured balloons versus another.
It’s unlikey that all the balloons will still have air in them by Thursday evening, and I am interested in their potential for showing the passage of time on this project, much like the dried-up daffodils that have hung in the space since the first weekend. Overall, I hope these additions complement the wooden material in the space and offer food for thought on the relationship between material, form, and surface.