Friday, 25 November 2011

Spartacus Chetwynd - BAS7. (finally I can post!)

Chetwynd uses a collection of window panes, textile material, wood, old floorboards and metal poles to create this construction. When visiting the BAS7 show in Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery the piece has been exhibited in the centre of the gallery space, obviously the curators felt that it had the most potential to be viewed in this way. The eye is naturally drawn to its 12 feet tall presence in the room. As the construction is able to be viewed from many angles, there are many lines of sight – through the window panes, through the folding aspects at the front of the ‘house,’ the floorboards from underneath the base which is suspended 5 feet above the ground.

Its influences are from the Dutch modernist architect Gerrit Rietveld’s Schroeder House, Japanese origami, Peter the Great’s wooden cabin in St Petersburg and the designs of the environmentalist architect Glenn Murcutt. The piece incorporates ideas of recycling and relocation.
The use of patterned and floral material hanging as ‘curtains and drapes’ from the windows almost brings connotations of travellers/gypsies as there are wheels at the base of the structure, attached to a mirror. The way the whole structure is built up off ground level, with its floral textiles and wooden panels reminds me of the old, rundown caravans occupied by travellers.
I have mixed thoughts about the success of this exhibit, in some ways it looks unfinished, rugged and incomplete. But I guess the concept is for this ‘folding house’ to look shabby, rustic and recycled. 

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