Rural Studio, 'Pods'
Theaster Gates, 'Ground Rules'
Drinking cans, wire, steel
60 x 140 x 20 cm
Having experimented with installations heavily layered in content and components, this wall- like structure is a further development of transforming cans into illusions of bricks, only on this occasion, the piece is stripped out of other referential components. With two opposing sides, the elements are laid in the traditional English Bond into what appears to be a thick suspended wall. The construction resolves the desire to reach a form that would allow for both sides to be seen at the same time.
It was important to create two moments to experience the work. The initial introduction is a simple arrangement of bricks, an illusion of a shiny modern wall, yet deceiving. The use of these works in a similar way in which Rural Studio reused license plates as the actual skin for student accommodations. However, this surface immediately reveals something is not entirely right, nor straight, nor perfectly smooth. After closer observation and walking around, it reveals its truth.
The piece is conceived as a result of building with resources at hand, more specifically the manipulation of them as if having no other resources but through the process, they are beautified. Sculptures by Doris Salcedo are a constant reference into creating poetic-like objects. Although particularly here, Theaster Gates' work for Freedom of Assembly, where he creates sculptural paintings out of materials taken from derelict buildings, were a reference into attesting the origin of the cans.
Coming from the streets around the Euston Station area, the cans are a sample of the cultural diversity within the location. Perhaps even a trace of travelers as some have writings in Polish, German, or Danish.
Manipulating the material into its final form was a challenge. However I recognized I had to allow for the materials own movement and behavior to preserve its honesty as well as to communicate a more spontaneous solution. Nevertheless the structure that ties it into shape is more deliberate and technically achieved creating a hybrid of strong and fragile elements existing together.
Studies made during my recent residency at Canary Wharf were essential into conceiving the final display form.