‘Components’ is the installation I created as part of the artist residency ‘A Transient Space’, in early December 2015 in Geddes Gallery, Kings Cross. Seven artists were invited to create work in direct response to an empty building, Number 26 Caledonian road: Leo Giordani’s former delicatessen and household.
My work, located in the empty front shop, was an exercise of dealing with the grief from the loss of my mother the previous year. The central object of the piece was a lamb’s heart hanging from the deli’s bar symbolising the human heart being exposed. The pain from the loss made me feel as if my heart was bleeding, as if it was redder than ever. So during the residency I explored how to represent this visual experiment by painting the heart red with acrylic while also painting on papers, red images of despair. I then explored the opposite effect bleaching the colour out of it, with all the blood gone, might the pain go away too?
Every day of the residency I spent a couple of hours placing metres and metres of string between 2 poles of the shop shelves. The string attached would block the direct view of the heart from the visitors, acting as a curtain of transparency and a sort of protection of the heart’s pain. This action was a way of exploring tension, materiality and transparency, and a way of meditation, exploring the passage of time and accepting its rhythm.
The conclusion of the heart experiments took me to display it just raw and untouched. Underneath it, a cone shaped piece with a space to put the hand in was acting as a representation of what one would find inside the heart. Other elements were scattered around the shop shelves: a poem, a mirror, a picture of a landscape and a bucket with the elements used during the residency.
As one entered the room a piece of paper gave instructions on how the visitor was invited to put their hand inside the heart, represented in the cone shaped piece, placed underneath the raw heart purposefully so that the viewer was affected by its visceral quality. As the visitor place their hand in the cone they were facing the unknown, a black hole that could contain anything.
Other participating artists in the residency were Andrea Abbatangelo , Alex J. Bunn, James Rogers & Henry Badrick, Susana Sanroman and William Angus-Huges. It was curated by Cornelia Marland and Miguel Mallol