Sunday, 23 May 2010

More Towers of Trash..

In June I am part of a group exhibition that takes the Lee Valley as its subject. This is an area about 15mins walk from my house. It is a marshy nature reserve adjacent to part of the old East London canal network. It’s great to walk or cycle along the towpaths with the brightly coloured narrow boats, swans, geese and ducks all drifting by on the canal. It’s a strange part of London where the City and its natural and industrial history meet. From certain parts of the Valley you can see the towers of Canary Wharf and these are my focus for this show.

So the Towers of Trash are back! This time, however, they are all made of newspaper or more specifically, the Financial Times. Given recent events, it's a lot of fun re-creating the buildings that stand in Canary Wharf, and which represent bastions of banking and finance. As with the 2007 Creek Art Fair in Dubai, the Towers will stand outside for the duration of the exhibition so it is quite possible that they will have disintegrated by the end. I am sure this metaphorical abandonment of financial institutions to the elements will entertain as will many of the FT headlines featured. Perhaps it will also prompt some interest in the FT which I am beginning to think is the only intelligent newspaper left in the country. Unfortunately, even that is showing signs of thinning and as the cost per square inch goes up, the incidence of daily investment goes down. That said the weekend edition is a bargain by comparison.

Will post images of new towers in situ when the exhibition is up and running but in the meantime here’s a preview of HSBC in progress...

Other news is that I got an invitation a few days ago to participate in the 2011 Florence Biennale. I got very excited about this and naturally assumed that my diverse creative output and consummate professionalism had finally been recognised. I would now be lauded internationally and have bundles of cash thrown my way......

Yeah, right! After extensive research I discovered that it actually costs loadsa money to participate in Florence! I am still not entirely clear on how you end up being selected but it seems that zillions of invites go out anyway. Invited artists then either pay for themselves or get sponsors if they want to do it. Overall the reviews from people who had participated in previous editions of Florence were very mixed. Some said it had been one of the best experiences of their lives while others suggested it was merely a prestigious scam. Verdict came out at about 50-50 but unless the Euro slumps to about 100 to the pound I will not be going to Florence. 
I actually went to Florence in 1992 but didn't make it very far. Pre-spouse and I got off a train at Florence station intending to spend a few days there. We had a blazing row as we sat on the station steps and ended up storming back in and getting on another train. We still regret that especially seeing as neither of us now has the remotest recollection of what the argument was about!

(Thanks to Valeria Bateson for photo of narrow boats on the canal).