Subterranean

The Sculpture Shock artists ambushed us with work which breaks free from the clinical white cage of the gallery space and responds to a non-traditional environment.

The first of these environments is the subterranean and unseen world underneath our city.

The 2015 residency took place in the Sculpture Shock studio in North Kensington from 2 March until 22 May 2015.

The work was shown as a pop-up exhibition  from 14 - 17 May 2015, at the Brunel Museum Rotherhithe Grand Entrance Hall, London SE16 4LF.

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2015

The winner of the Subterranean category of Sculpture Shock 2015 is LYNN DENNISON. On the 2 March Dennison began a three month residency in a studio in North Kensington which culminated in a site specific spacial intervention for the Grand Entrance Hall at the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe. 

Built in 1825 by Sir Marc Brunel and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the Rotherhithe Shaft is one of the most important subterranean sites in engineering history. Dennison’s installation flooded the shaft with the sights and sounds of the nearby River Thames. Visitors had a heightened sense of their own vulnerability as they shuffled through the restricted street level entrance and emerge in the immense space of the shaft now commandeered by Dennison’s sub-aquatic world. Despite its initially unsettling impact, and its correlation to historical events in the shafts creation, Dennison was not trying to convince her audience that her projected illusion was real. On the contrary she challenged them to discover the slender margin between reality and fiction as they descended 50ft beneath the streets of south east London down a scaffolding staircase to become immersed in the crashing waves. By seamlessly combining these two supposedly incompatible environments Dennison hoped to illuminate the sublime beauty of the landscape and uncontainable power of nature and asked her audience to think again about the environment that surrounds them.

The work was shown as a pop-up exhibition from 14 May to 17 May 2015. 

Lynn Dennison, Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song, 2015, SUBTERRANEAN intervention in the Rotherhithe Shaft. Video courtesy of the Artist. 

 

2014

Patrick Lowry completed his residency in May 2014. Lowry's idiom is the replica, the simulacra, the illusion. He creates life-size replicas of places or seemingly functional items common in our everyday life, in order to encourage us to reassess our relationship to the often obscure and illusory economical and political machinations of the contemporary world.

For the culmination of his residency Lowry created 'Quantitative Easing' which exsplored the murky associations of the subterranean with the underworld, the black market and the execution of forgeries, fakes, and counterfeits at The Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury. Fascinated by the building's former use as a bust commercial printers, Lowry's site specific installation commented on the power structures surrounding the rise of complex and deeply ‘subterranean’ global financial systems, of which London is a major centre and driving force.

The exhibition was open from 15 May to 19 May 2014 and more information on the work can be found on our blog!

Patrick Lowry, Quantitative Easing, The Horse Hospital, 2014, replicated Hidelbelberg Printing Machine, MDF, wood, acrylic, stainless steel, printed replica Euros, pallet, money packs, cardboard boxes. Image credit A K Purkiss

2013

David Ogle completed his residency in April and created extremely memorable, painstaking and sensitive installations over c. 6000 sq.ft in the tunnels underneath Waterloo station.  It was his most ambitious work to date, a brave and highly successful attempt to translate his detailed line drawings into three dimensions and to create an environment invigorated by light and colour.  The trains rumbling overhead and the gentle drip of water from above ensured an extraordinary sensory and aesthetic experience.  

He took 9 days to install it with just a ladder and a head torch, but he managed to attract over 1,000 visitors and a lovely article in The Telegraph.

David Ogle, 08019, detail, fluorescent fishing line, ultraviolet light, weather balloon and red halogen light, Image credit A K Purkiss