Flash, 2019 (silicone, ply-wood, battery operated lights with motion sensor, white emulsion & paint pens)
From the one night performance event 'OOPS @ OH', with Swallowsfeet Collective
Text about 'Flash, 2019':
The Bermondsey Biscuit Factory, where the work is installed, is also the home to a well established climbing wall. I was interested in these synthetic built-up environments that promote human suspension, as my work is concerned with the themes of physical suspension but also the metaphorical 'suspension of disbelief’, between fantasy and reality. Initially interested in the relationship between the body and these architectural-like angular forms, the climbing wall is a playful way for people to negotiate their figure against a vertical plane, actively ‘figuring out’ their next move.
‘Flash, 2019' is made especially for the one night 'OOPS @ OH’ event, organised by the Swallowsfeet Collective, who are a group of dancers/performance artist funded by the British Arts Council. As dancers, they were naturally set to use their bodies to activate spaces around the old Biscuit Factory and I therefore wanted to create something to compliment this theatrical staging within the space, but also in relationship to this bodily interaction with the audience.
The installation, ‘Flash' is therefore named after a climbing term used to describe a climber’s ‘clean’ ascending route, with prior knowledge and/or equipment already in place. I therefore created sculptural forms, reflecting climbing volumes, to interact with the audience member. These volumes would illuminate when the audience is near them via hidden motion sensors, highlighting a path and thus coining the installation’s name - like an experienced guide. The volumes are cladded in a tactile silicone material, similar to a type of membrane, which is punctured with rhythmic holes to mirror the climbing environment. The mural acts as a theatrical backdrop, framed by the surrounding pillars. It's a disorienting trick of the eye to set the scene for these performative objects, which sit on an angular white stage.