Loaded and Dressed
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.