Monday, 8 March 2010

Conrad Shawcross

I was chatting with Charlotte Storrar (another student on the MA ISD course) today about how this impressive installation by Conrad Shawcross could be of relevance to her project to draw inspiration from, considering she is currently looking into weaving techniques.

I also began to find it particularly relevant to my work, as a rotating, moving, spiralling device which moves through space. Driven from the tracks of the tram lines, and thus a mapping and derivative of movement through the space.

Image from This Is Tomorrow website

'British artist Conrad Shawcross has constructed a giant, site specific, mechanical installation in the Kingsway Tram Subway, Holborn in October 2009. This vast underground tunnel is a remarkable and fascinating survivor of London’s tramway heritage which has been closed for public use since 1952.

Chord is Conrad Shawcross most ambitious and complex work to date. Conceived specifically for the long subway, the artist has built two identical rope machines that will weave a thick hawser from 324 spools of coloured string. These vast machines will begin back to back in the centre of the space and then gradually move away from each other slowly down the subway following the old tram tracks. Like two huge spiders, they will slowly weave their rope behind them as they slowly travel through the space over the course of the exhibition.

Returning to the themes of previous rope production works
The Nervous Systems, (2003 - Saatchi collection) and Yarn (2001) Chord is concerned with the human perception of time, as both a linear and cyclical notion. The rope becomes a strong structural metaphor, as it is a clear linear entity made up and formed by a cyclical process.

Each point on the rope can be traced back to a certain moment during the show and duration becomes interchangeable with length; time with space, an hour being around 20 cm, a day around six meters.'

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