Displaying my 3D art in a modern ruin

I had the opportunity to display my 3D art outdoors – as part of Between the Lines – a group exhibition that I co-curated on the site of a derelict railway station in Bristol which is now a Creative arts project known as Mangotsfield Folly. I was one of the first artists to exhibit there and it was good to respond to the site when placing the art. It was the first time I had taken the Teddies in Toasters and Clay slip toys out of the studio so I was curious to see how they would change – and if viewers would respond to them differently.

While my 3D works look at home in a white walled gallery, I discovered that they also work in the unconventional setting of modern ruins placed on or against the remnants of a building – what remains of the Station waiting room.

The silicone works kept their vibrancy even against harsh sunlight – they don’t  necessarily need the precisely lit, controlled gallery environment. While the clay slip pieces exuded a naturality that escaped them in a white walled space.  This has opened up the possibilities to display my work in future.

Traces of previous human existence are all around us.  Modern ruins are more enigmatic – due to their recency hence closer links to our own lives. Reminiscent of artist/curator Vanya Balogh utilising abandoned buildings in the outlying islands around Venice during successive Biennales.

Modern ruins are places and systems deserted quite recently, not because they weren’t functional, but because political and economical priorities changed. Derelict buildings slowly decaying back into the natural landscape, presenting an eerie image of the past that is also a dystopian vision of an abandoned future.

Visitors felt comfortable asking to touch and hold artworks – unlike a traditional gallery setting
The harsh sunlight did not wash out the bright colours of the Teddies in toaster works
The site of the old railway station  and the diverging railway line traces between Bath and Bristol. Now known as Mangotsfield Folly arts project
The station before it was abandoned
The abandoned engine shed today