FENCE (Urban Driftwood)
‘A barrier enclosing or bordering a field, yard, etc, usually made of posts and wire or wood, used to prevent entrance, to confine, or to make a boundary.’ (attribute your quote)
This piece is created from twelve saved wooden fence slats from the garden of an Edwardian terraced house in East London. A rich history can be seen on the front and back faces of the slats; their deep grainy texture and varied colour is the result of years of natural degradation. As much of the original dust, cobwebs and marks made by animals and insects as possible have been preserved. When I was constructing this piece, I was very aware of losing the delicate decoration of debris that was clinging desperately to the surface of the slat. With each process I watched grains of history falling from the timber. It was hard not to feel anxious about this, which in turn made me very aware of the value I was placing on something usually destined for the skip.
The orientation of the each slat (the way they face) was a specific decision, whereas the angle of the slat to the plinth and the order in which the slats line up was random. For me, each of the slats appear to have their own, distinct personality yet they can also be seen as a group, evoking feelings from pride to depression. I believe they also produce feelings of incompleteness, perhaps because of the absence of horizontal rails. These deconstructed fence slats as ‘art concept’ inhabit the space between objet d’art and object trouve, challenging notions of value and authorship. The life of the object has become the point of interest.
This is urban driftwood.