Lines. Levels, Layers opened on Friday 18th July 2014 at Siobhan Davies dance in South London.
The week leading to this date was dedicated to the installation one of the hottest weeks to date this year. www.siobhandavies.com
Day one was really taken up with painting and positioning the five shelves. There were to sit across four locations.
Location 1: The process wall
The purpose of this collection of images text and objects was to contextulise the body of work it's positioned in the parlour a space for gathering working or to take a moment.
It was the perfect place to allow the visitor to quietly read through the material before embarking on the journey throughout the building.
Lines: Positioned in the reception area.
This took a fair amount of time to lay out as it had to be perfectly positioned. 18 small rectangular containers hold every soil sample collected from Southwark. The precision to this piece was so important to the over all aesthetic quality. Ideas of order and chaos run throughout the exhibition. This installation had to mirror it's title and the relevance of the grid had to be prominent and this is conveyed through the perfect linear quality
Drawn plans for Layers
Erik was at hand to help me all week this was the first panel to be mounted onto the wall on the 1st floor as part of Layers this space spans approx 6.5 m long this piece of work took an entire day to hang. Despite having four different hanging plans the layout did change during the process slightly. There was more overlapping that happened towards the centre and as we moved to the edge on the far end the panels needed a little more breathing space.
Levels: This was the final piece of work laid out on Thursday afternoon.
Levels the second of the four installations and the purpose of this piece of work was to show a clear break down of the materials, including a geological map a handling station with fired and unfired tests, small glass jars diluted with soil and water. Giving a clearer idea and understanding of colour before moving on to Layers
Mounted on to the wall are three boxes the first one shows found objects that have been extracted from the ground and soil during the collection process.
A wonderful collection of items ranging from London brick, bones, old soda or salt glazed ceramic fragments, glass, rusty metal screws and nails, roof tiles, broken shards of ceramic pipes...
The second box has been filled with soil collected from Peckham this has been left completely unprocessed and the third box is the same soil but sieved and watered down to a slip consistency. Over time the water residue will evaporate and this will begin to dry and possibly crack.
The Handling Station gives the visitor the opportunity to handle the materials there's a combination of fired and unfired samples showing the transformation from clay soil to clay and also the dramatic change in colour.
The bottles are filled with the same samples exhibited in Lines downstairs but have been diluted with water once again it shows the change of colour beginning to happen in preparation for Layers in the next room.
Layers: Positioned on the 1st floor
This is the first time you encounter the material that has been used as a drawing or mark making tool. Each piece of canvas has a distinct smell, texture, colour, tone to it.
I think the only way to fully appreciate this particular piece of work is through experience.
I wanted to keep this body of work tightly associated with the local area for many reasons. One it has lead to a more focussed enquiry but most importantly it was always about the entire Human Nature season at Siobhan Davies. A years worth of projects collaborations that have encompassed local groups such as the Mobile Garden in Elephant and Castle, the local schools planting for the living walls, the Mobile Meadow, walks in and around Southwark, Dance performances along the Southbank.
It also makes us look at what is below our feet, a material we all come into contact with every day but in most cases it's just ignored.
Without soil nothing would grow. Gardens and green spaces would not exist. It's a simple acknowledgement to a material that provides us with such wonder.