Hobson’s Choice: Mary Redmond at Bold Tendencies 6

13 July 2012 By
Hobson's Choice: Mary Redmond

30 June – 30 September 2012

Levels 7-10, Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST


Open from 12 noon until 10pm, Thursday – Sunday

Founded in 2007, Bold Tendencies is a summertime sculpture project held on the top four floors of a disused multi-storey car park in Peckham, South London presenting major new works by international artists.  If you haven’t yet been, I strongly recommend that you make the journey to this quite uniquely ambitious programme, now in its sixth edition.   Whilst there are several works to see, I’d like to recommend that you do not miss Mary Redmond’s extraordinary, sprawling intervention on the seventh floor.  Redmond’s sculptural installations are always about materials and how they are handled.  Her characteristic use of low-key materials links her to her Scottish contemporaries in Glasgow – Jim Lambie, Sue Tompkins, Cathy Wilkes et al – whereas her approach to space and site-specificity reflects her training in the highly influential Environmental Art Department at Glasgow School of Art, which produced artists like recent Turner Prize winner, Martin Boyce.  Often working with industrial materials – painted wood, paving slabs, plastic cord, metal fencing and corrugated iron – her installations have a seemingly improvised and temporary attitude, but are rigorously considered, combining an almost classical formalism with a kinetic energy generated by poised, provisional and precarious compositions and her attuned use of materials.   Her work has an event-like quality, as if enacted by sculptural agents suspended in colour and placement yet at risk of unravelling or teetering on the brink of collapse.  The idea of support and structure is fore-fronted in her choice of materials – clamps, ties, cables – generating an anxiety or tension.  In this case, bamboo struts support the immense concrete floor above, where butter-curls of corrugated iron seem to have been blown in like tumbleweed from the urban environment outside or are in the process of passaging into the ceiling.  Peached coloured bundles of cloth are pinned in situ by painted bamboo sticks, grips and cables, and the space is broken up and framed by sections of blue painted paving slabs creating a landscape or set.  Brave the weather and make a trip to this incredibly ambitious intervention by one of Scotland’s most influential artists – and reward yourself with a Campari in Frank’s bar on the top floor which offers unexpectedly wonderful views of London!

Image: © Mary Redmond, Seven Split Overglide, 2012, bamboo, paving slabs, acrylic paint, masonry paint, corrugated metal, clothes racks, woven bags, cable ties, linen thread, dimensions variable, courtesy the artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd