Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Living in a Material World

Today is installation day for Material World, the show for which I've been preparing work. The exhibition is by a group of artists making site-specific installation works that explore environmentalism through the use of recycled and found materials. My work is using a mass of books donated to me by the Lifeline Book Fair, the books that they just can't sell to anyone despite their best efforts. As you would imagine, a lot of these are Readers Digests (many have never been opened and read) but many are by very famous and popular authors.

Here's a shot of the process of putting the books up into the central girder of the gallery. I was worried that the various things I've been playing with would get a bit lost so high up, but now that the work exists in entirety, I'm very happy. It has a few layers: there's the instant 'oh, books in a girder, that's cool' effect, and then there are lots of little things happening to amuse and interest people stopping to have a harder look.

The title of the work is 'Shelf Life'. The premise is a work about books that are unloved and left unnoticed and untouched for long periods of time. It's very whimsical and at one point a little bit creepy, which is something I love in other people's art, so I'm glad when I can make it happen too.

It's also such a rich idea that I've decided to use the books afterwards for a series of photos. I've taken some practice versions with my dodgy digicam, but I'll do them properly later.

Shelf Life (Practice)

Shelf Life (Crisis)

O wot fun.

The exhibition opens tomorrow (Wednesday 28 March) at 12pm, but the formal opening event is on Saturday at 6pm, in conjunction with Earth Hour. There will be artist's talks, food, music, fun. At 7.30pm they will switch off all the lights, and there will be candles and fires and more music and food. It should be wonderful, and you're ALL welcome.


ronnie said...

candles and fires and books..... yes indeedy that's my idea of fun!

Mindy said...

I love the little ladder. It makes me think of Jasper Fforde novels about the characters in novels (Thursday Next series) and that someone might be making a break for a more exciting book.

Ampersand Duck said...

Yesss! Onya Mindy, that's a very big part of it! I've been making holes & rope ladders made of the book ribbons and bits of books escaping from books. You're totally right about the Jasper Fforde. (I think of The Borrowers too!)

Geoff said...

Show looks great. Love the ladder and Jasper Fforde references too :-)