Small Islands #3
Opening: March 15, 18.30-20.30
Exhibition runs: March 16 - May 18 2013
and weekdays by appointment.
AIRLOCK, Space Station Sixty-Five,
Building Two, 373 Kennington Road,
London, SE11 4PS
Charlotte Squire’s studio is a treasure-trove of domestic everyday objects – lemon juicers, molded glass lampshades, miscellaneous ceramic ornaments lining the shelves; elsewhere there are piles of flowery cushions, bundles of wooden table legs and assemblages of other homely wonders. “I’m into rehabilitating ‘stuff’” she tells me during a recent visit there and this is certainly true, for Charlotte Squire’s work gives new life to the used, castoff household objects she rescues from the streets or picks up at car boot sales for a song.
Over the past decade, Charlotte Squire has been creating site-specific artworks from her assemblages of household artifacts such as ‘Door Henge’- a folly created from salvaged doors and ladders and has been awarded numerous commissions in public spaces. If you visit Brixton Village Market, look up and you will see conjoined lampshades of all sizes; their frames re-covered with European and African fabrics. Serving as both lighting and artworks, these fabulous anthropomorphic forms resemble chrysalises about to hatch or ripening fruit. At the same time they are somehow familiarly human, specifically female in form and mirror the shapes and sounds of the market place and its visitors.
A recent discovery of discarded wooden sewing machine cases initiated the development of the latest work in her Small Islands series. Small Islands #3 has been created for AIRLOCK and, as with the artist’s previous installations, was made partly in advance at the studio and partly in situ at Space Station Sixty-Five. The ‘collective’ of sewing machine covers, which are integral to the work, are tangible relics - survivors from the past, with us still, though their owners are long lost. We are invited to conceive fictionalised histories for these time traveling artifacts; a history removed, but not entirely alien from their original function. Re-positioned at unfamiliar angles, the sewing machine cases gape at us open-mouthed. Adapted with the addition of a pair of nicely-turned table legs and other augmentations from Squire’s domestic archive they take on a new presence. Gathered together herd-like in the AIRLOCK space they could almost scamper away – a new species.
Charlotte Squire has lovingly reconfigured the ‘real’ objects and, liberated from their old identities, they have been brought into a new way of being
Sarah Sparkes is an artist, curator and researcher. She runs the visual arts and creative research project ‘GHost’ and organises an annual performance event – ‘the Chutney Preserves’ for the Camberwell Arts Festival.
Space Station Sixty-Five
1. Space Station Sixty-Five (SS65) is an artist-run space based in South-East London. Co-directed by artists Rachael House and Jo David, SS65 was founded by them in July 2002.
2. SS65 have recently started the process of expanding our activities to include new ventures including artist’s studios, workshops and the gallery space. We have opened our new location, run by our company Space Modules Ltd., of approximately 1400-m 2 floor space at 373 Kennington Road, London that is now our main site of activities. Within this site, we have a large gallery with an attached project space. The new gallery opened earlier this year with a solo exhibition by Canadian artist Shari Hatt, which received critical and popular acclaim. The rest of the site will be open for business at the end of the second quarter of 2012.
3. SS65 launched two artist’s studio bursaries in 2012 for Paul Jones and Rosalie Schweiker.
4. At SS65, we continue to curate the contemporary art we love in accessible venues, unswayed by fashion, trends and the whims of government funding.
5. The SS65 project involves ongoing research into the placing of contemporary art, its audiences and its relationship to the everyday. We place great emphasis on location, with an open door policy. We foster a large, lively and diverse audience.
6. Notable recent SS65 projects include: I just want to be taken seriously as an artist etc. by Shari Hatt, Misercord by Cathie Pilkington and Jay Cloth, The Marquis of Camberwell, part of Live on Stage at a Camberwell Pub, Carny Town at The Portman Gallery, The Dulwich Horror by Dean Kenning, window installations at The Waterloo Health Centre (a working GP surgery) and The Peckham Experiment at Camberwell Space, SS65 and other sites in Southwark.
7. The organisation supports other arts initiatives with which we share similar aims. These have included Transfabulous, transgender arts festival and Drawn Out and Painted Pink at The Drill Hall.
8. Visit the website: www.spacestationsixtyfive.com