Loaded and Dressed Four Sides:


The site of the Randolph Street Gallery has been the main motif in my mind as I have prepared for this exhibition. As one of the team who developed the studios and gallery from an empty warehouse, I have been intrigued by the way the building has been reorganised and reclothed to signal its new function. White walls and partitions communicate this change, but a glance at the floor reveals that vestiges of its former function remain. Loaded is a two-piece work involving a pallet and panel. Both objects are wooden constructions with coatings on their surfaces, however the materials, construction methods and levels of craft signify their 'usual' functions and contexts. The pallet references the loading bay, the actual site of the gallery now, while the panel is a prime example of my concerns with the rhetoric of 'fine art painting'. I have brought the pallet into this work as a hybrid object of sorts, a reworked readymade and signifier of the industrial heritage of the site that has been dressed up and placed within the context of the new gallery.


Dressed Four Sides is another site specific work. The corner of the window on the threshold of the gallery is a challenging site to place a work in that it can be viewed from both within the gallery and from the foyer leading into the gallery. The title of the work alludes to a term used in the building trade to describe timber that has been planed on all four surfaces. In this case, timber is absent, in fact the window has offered me an opportunity to place painted surfaces directly in the space without the usual constructed support or stretcher. The work employs traditional oil paint, which has been carefully built up and then removed via a monoprint onto another surface, which acts as a kind of copy of the last layer of the paint. Both paintings reveal the sequence of events that took place in their construction, but through having to approach the work from inside and outside the gallery, the viewer is never able to get all the information at once. The function of the 'watchtower' like window means that the work will be looked at but also looked through and looked past as people move around taking in the show but also on their way to and from the studios.

Noel Ivanoff, 2003.