Through a dialogue between an informal and chance methodology of sculptural arrangement and a purposefully codified register of materials, Jennifer Douglas explores the relationship between installation, incident and its implied significance.
‘Within this I explore and excavate mark-making, through materials and in spaces and surfaces, made consciously and unconsciously by myself and others as result of ‘inhabiting’ a space. I seek to mis-communicate this, twist and disguise what I find and represent in a way that refers to its original context but/yet has shifted slightly enough to create a sense of unease in the perspective of the viewer. Often, there is a sense that the works create a scene where something has happened, or is just about to…’
In (First) Second Floor Douglas flooded the room on the top floor of Workplace with white liquid silicone rubber to create a highly detailed and precise mold of one of the gallery floors capturing the grain of the wood and the trace scratches and scrapes left by human activity. Using a process extrapolated from conventional sculptural mold-making techniques, Douglas is able to re-present the gallery floor – as painting – on the wall of the ground floor exhibition space. Maintaining a connection to the field of sculpture (First) Second Floor is presented with the lower part of the cast rubber surface aligned to the shadow gap of the supporting gallery wall – millimetres above the floor. This is a concession to the sculptural world of objects and things – our space as opposed to the pictorial frame of the painting as typically isolated within the white wall of the gallery.
Through this oscillation between the two spaces of object and image, (First) Second Floor, operates (as is typical for Douglas’ work) as a conduit between the real, physical world and the metaphysical space of the imagined or surreal. The experience of looking at the floor is one of ordinary everyday normality made uncanny through a shift in orientation, and distanced full plan overview enabled by the size of the gallery space. The visual effect is one of floating an unusual distance above a floor, like the near death experiences of TV and Film, whilst the sensory stimulus from the body is maintained in its default normal position.
19/21 is a steel and silicone work, which takes its form and scale from a measured linear outline of the steps outside the gallery front door and the height of the doorway, its title taken from the address of the gallery 19 – 21 West St. Rotated 180 degrees and fixed to the wall Douglas shifts a given architectural situation into the gallery space, recoding itself as art, and disguised within sculpture.
Assemblage (Penthouse1), Fun, and Blue were all taken by Douglas on a trip to an abandoned British Telecom headquarters in Teeside, UK. Drawn to the place through her research into the origins of language and communication (in particular Morse code) Douglas documents the found situations, composing images constructed from the fixtures, fittings and pin boards of the building through the isolating and framing device of the camera.
If walls had eyes is a painting on canvas that has been painted blue and repeatedly punctured with multiple screw holes and Rawl plugs. Referencing both the Buchi and Tagli (holes and slashes) of Lucio Fontana’s paintings and the romantic escape of the dusk sky this work more specifically refers to a battered old industrial breeze block wall that has been recurrently over-painted and drilled into without consideration for aesthetics or meaning.