Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Selected for CUBEOpen 2010
I submitted my work Monotony(Benches) into CUBEOpen 2010 and my work was selected.

This is the work as it was displayed in the gallery:

And this was my proposal:

'For me, places are experienced concretely, not as equations of function to form. In this sense, architecture is ‘not’ place until and unless we subvert it with the contents of our lives. In other words, places are where time takes route, and it is time in its forms of personal and social memory and in its connection to the cycles of nature that we have attempted to design ‘out’ of industrial society. For this reason I find it difficult to draw any form of inspiration from newly built developments that for me have no character and no history. They lack the vernacular layers of natural and social landscape that keep the world interesting. I am therefore against a monoculture and have an interest in globalisation and what the effect of the global on the local appears to be. Through my work I hope to resist commodification, globalisation and uniformity by highlighting differences, imperfections and the marks of human existence.

Thinking about local distinctiveness and the effect of the global on the local, I wanted to draw attention to the monotony of the street furniture that we find in Manchester. Using red thread, I cross-stitched the letters of the word ‘monotony’ onto eight consecutive bus stop benches in order to highlight the homogeneous quality of these identical bus benches that line Oxford Road. This piece of work became the first in a three part series called Monotony. It seems to me that if we continue with this strategy of homogenisation, we are headed for a very bland and dull urban environment indeed. This is not to say that the corporate powers that be should start a production line of bus stop benches that are each slightly different. I am not interested in difference for its own sake. It is about recognising the richness that comes organically with heterogeneity, history, culture and ecology.

Utilising existing structures such as street furniture, my work rides the dominant culture physically and exposes social controls whilst its quiet nature has the ability to activate the consciousness of a place through subtle markings without disturbing it.'