Installations that never were…

I’ve two pieces of work I view as installations which move the collages I make from a fixed relationship with the wall to a shifting one. However, reliance on a solid vertical surface remains a constraint I’d like to dispense with, possibly by using scaffolding as a material. It’s something I’ve never worked with before and involves a significant increase in scale so experimentation, space and funding are needed to think through how this might look. Getting immersed in the competitive arena of awards and grants naturally leads to rejected proposals and flights of fancy impractical to realise at the moment. What happens to such half-formed projects? Should they disappear into the ether or be captured in some form?

With some trial and error, I’ve found ways to think through these ideas as accurately as possible using scale maquettes dropped into different environments. This opens up delicious chances to see the work in any gallery space I wish…at the Tate, the Saatchi gallery, historic locations…

This series of work is a set of installations proposed but not realised. Possibilities for freeing In the shadow of her gaze n.02 from its reliance with the wall and capable of delivery in scaffolding, made from component materials with endless options for construction and reconfiguration. They may manifest in reality at some point or remain in the virtual environment of the World Wide Web. Here is a picture of the first piece in this series.

Claire Manning, 'Not at Clifford Chance', 2014
Claire Manning, ‘Not at Clifford Chance’, 2014

Talking about my practice…

I can’t find a way to talk about my practice that feels entirely satisfying. I discussed it recently in terms of the masculine / feminine gaze but, on reflection, I feel this is too narrow and results in something that risks seeming too assured. As if I’m saying that the work always communicates certain characteristics when in fact I feel it’s more accurate to say there are a cloud of possibilities, any number of which may come into play in any given situation.

I wrote about the mutability of the gaze in a recent research paper. It seems obvious now but the solution may be to read the work from the perspective of this paper and see what results. It will definitely be woolly – in the territory of a ‘cloud of possibilities’ — but perhaps more accurately reflect my thoughts with the value of blending both research and practice.

If I document this experience for myself in some detail, it will work as an aide memoire for future use.

Wish me luck…

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