29 August 2012

Phantom railings

In a garden in Bloomsbury an interactive sound sculpture is using the movements of pedestrians to evoke the ghost of a lost iron fence.  The railings at Malet St Gardens were removed during the 1940s as part of a wartime initiative to democratize parks and gardens – and never reinstated.  Using sensor-based acoustic devices, the installation makes evident the absence of railings by creating a resemblance of the familiar sound produced by running a stick along an iron fence. 

Through enlivening the stumps of the railings, the project engages with a centuries-old debate about public space and accessibility.  It aims to bring these subjects into question, and to promote a critical awareness of the social and spatial history of the city in a way that is innovative, entertaining and accessible to all.

The project has been developed by public interventions, an interdisciplinary collective working at the Centre for Creative Collaboration (C4CC), University of London.  It will remain on site until the 14 October.

for more information: http://publicinterventions.org/

15 August 2012

James Pyman

In the gardens of The Hepworth Wakefield the artist James Pyman has wrapped an early 19th-century watermill in a life-size drawing of the mill.  Pyman’s meticulous illustrations detailing the features of the fa├žade of the mill have been reproduced at life-size scale and printed on to a building wrap that shrouds the actual building. 

It is not yet clear whether within its wrapper the mill is decaying further or whether it will be unwrapped in new glory, but either way the drawings preserve for the moment both the history and status or the industrial mill.  Furthermore, the graphite marks rendered as brick and mortar stand in contrast to the polished concrete of The Hepworth; the hand-drawn holding its own in the shadow of the new museum.  Pyman’s drawings capture the watermill between its splendour and ruin.

James Pyman
Upper Mill, 2011
images courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

8 August 2012

Robert Hughes, 1938-2012

‘The basic project of art is always to make the world whole and comprehensible, to restore it to us in all its glory and its occasional nastiness, not through argument but through feeling, and then to close the gap between you and everything that is not you, and in this way pass from feeling to meaning. It’s not something that committees can do. It’s not a task achieved by groups or by movements. It’s done by individuals, each person mediating in some way between a sense of history and an experience of the world.’

Robert Hughes, The Shock of the New

2 August 2012