Folly (2006) 2.3m x 1.7m x 1.9m black painted mdf. Vacancy (2007) neon sign, 44 x 13 x 20cm.
Folly displayed with Vacancy.
image is from the exhibition:
The Tomorrow People - Artists of the Future Now Elevator Gallery July 2009.
Folly acts as a puzzle that proliferates at each new showing, gradually filling the space it inhabits, here it is shown in a new configuration with a proliferation of more elements for stacking.
In contrast to the abundance and puzzle like quality of Folly, the neon sign Vacancy sits on the floor, a little lost.
The sign used in Vacancy, is a bought, off the shelf item, and as a result is very recognisable. Reminiscent of small hotels you might find on the outskirts of the city, somewhere you would never want to stay: a kind of seedy glamour, that probably never was.
Placed in a gallery context Vacancy proposes a redundancy of the space it inhabits; it behaves as something that is taking the place of something else supposedly more valued, or more creditable. By doing so, it calls into question that which it might be replaced by.
The works, exhibited together, pose a complex set of questions regarding the conditions of space, with particular regard for volume in this case; empty, stacked or otherwise, and provoke a questioning of the value of space, with particular regards to sculpture and art.
Michael Hampton, artist and critic, has written about the work Vacancy Hi-spec, with en-suite. Below is an extract from this that comments on an intrinsic similarity to be found in both works:
two boys who, on bursting into Three Colts Gallery, where . puzzle piece Folly was being exhibited, immediately got the hang of it and started arranging and stacking the parts according to their desires. Such modularity is not so obviously an attribute of Vacancy, but is operative anyway, as virtual modularity, for the sign cordially invites mental block-building, implying that a substitute work might sit where there is none, pressing the viewer to remake visual reality then, or insert their own unique structure. Michael Hampton 2008/9
Review of the exhibition Inside Outsider Language at Waterside project space 2010:
2.3m x 1.7m x 1.9m black painted mdf.
forms that reference both Modernist architecture, and minimalist
artists such as Robert Morris and Donald Judd. It reminds me also of
the architecture of the gun emplacements and blockhouses along the Atlantic wall, and the pill-boxes to be found
in the UK.
Folly acts as a puzzle that proliferates at each new
showing, gradually filling the space it inhabits. The ground plan for
the work is taken from a Persian pattern extruded through a stacking
system that employs just three elements - a square, a diamond, and a
triangle. Folly can be walked through and sat upon, and visitors are
encouraged to re-arrange the configuration. I have likened it to an
architectural folly in its title.
The work proliferation drawings draw on similar concerns as can be seen here in the constructed image of Folly, increasing in its stacking elements until only small letterboxes to view through are available. These can be viewed here: https://www.amiclarke.com/proliferationdrawings.htm
2 scale models of Folly - 1:200 and 1:100 - showing aerial view of extruded pattern.
42 at Three Colts Gallery - Bethnal Green, London.