In Paint; in Teeth; in Mountains; in Stars.
The LAB, Foley Street.
This 81 piece 6.2m high screen in white deal was designed in response to a brief set by exhibiting artist Orla Whelan and curator Sheena Barrett.
We were originally asked to design a screen to carry one large canvas at ground level. The transparent screen would allow the visitor to see the back of the canvas on entering the gallery and would draw people into and around the space like a fulcrum.
Simple enough, however we noticed another challenge; The Gallery has a mezzanine level which is inconveniently accessed by returning through reception. It’s also difficult from ground level to see if there’s anything up there. We realised that by increasing the height of the structure to Mezzanine level to hang a 2nd painting we could provide a ‘structural’ and visual link between to the 2 parts of the show, and draw people not only in, but also up. The final arrangement has the structure wrapping an existing column, at a slight angle to the mezzanine and with 4 of it’s 8 legs floating off the floor and the horizontal members alternating rhythm uses sequences of Fibonacci spacings. Each a subtle enough move, each trying to push the structure to get a little more; lightness, technical accomplishment, function.
The elements were prefabricated in our studio assembled using Reitveld’s doweled joint i.e. timber dowels and glue. Three sections were constructed in this manner before being transported across town on a flat bed truck and bolted together on site in about 3 hours.
The piece was developed using scale models and ‘simple’ sketches to facilitate dialogue with the client and production drawings were only issued to ourselves. (Even) we were surprised by how similar the model photos and as built photos look. There’s one in the eye for CGI!
You can see more of Orla Whelan’s work here.