Commissioned by Hospitalfield Arbroath and made in collaboration with visual artist Claire Barclay, Underside / Disturbance was made specifically for the grand Victorian Picture Gallery at Hospitalfield House offering the artists the opportunity to take the architecture and objects of this extraordinary space as a context from which to create this immersive and durational work.
Claire Barclay and Janice Parker’s Underside\Disturbance, their first collaborative project, is a series of actions and interventions taking place across four rooms over the period of two hours.
The work shares Barclay and Parker’s investigation of the objects within Hospitalfield House from a sculptural and choreographical perspective. For example, the choreographer senses the table as indicating a space to move into and in contrast the sculptor thinks of the body that made it.
They have worked through three thematic strands, firstly a blend of scientific and emotional relationships with nature, influenced by Hospitalfield’s two Victorian collectors Patrick and Elizabeth Allan- Fraser. Secondly a consideration of irreverence using upholstered chairs and pebbles from the beach with the same observance to detail. Finally the pair have characterised their special access the house through attention to the underside, not normally seen, the bursting springs beneath a chaise or the surprising roughness of the underside of French- polished furniture.
The work sets the human body against the contrived beauty of the sculpture collection and is inspired by the mundane but carefully stashed contents of drawers, collections in their own right, telling of the changes of use over time. The body inhabits the space in the same way as the objects do, working to illuminate and expose, in short, placing a body and a chair to better see the chair.
Listed in The Scotsman’s Best Art Shows of 2014: read article
Commissioned by Hospitalfield Arts for LOOKING AGAIN 4-6 July 2014.