Behind the Curtain II at Gallery 106 - 2017

  • Behind The Curtain Upstairs 2017
  • Behind The Curtain Downstairs 2017
  • Behind The Curtain Upstairs detail 1 2017
  • Behind The Curtain Downstairs detail 1 2017
  • Behind The Curtain Upstairs detail 2 2017
  • Behind The Curtain Downstairs detail 2 2017

I recreated my Behind the Curtain installation for a solo show at Gallery 106 in 2017. This was an opportunity for me to expand on the experimental piece Behind the Curtain I, 2014 created in my studio for the purpose of my arts practice research dissertation.

At Gallery 106 I was able to install this work over 2 floors. Giving the impression of the cloth on the ground floor of the gallery going through the floor and cascading out of the ceiling into the basement and spreading out organically onto the floor space. The artwork created on both floors contained a space of infinite folds, of colour. My intention was to absorb and engage the viewer in the space that was apart from everyday life. Recreating a childhood space of playing hide and seek behind the curtain. Allowing the viewer to go back to a more innocent simplistic place a rest from the stresses of modern life. (These ideas are explained further in my dissertation, which can be downloaded here.)

I named these pieces Upstairs and Downstairs to highlight their differences. The work on the ground floor is basked in sunlight from the large window and contained the majestic sweeping folds of a curtain meant for a theatre or a rich ladies boudoir.

The downstairs piece in the basement did not have any daylight. The folds were more vertical and practical looking, the colour stripe like. It also spread untidily onto the floor, where the colour faded. This was like a practical curtain the servant’s part of the house. However, this did not diminish its power and richness or indicate that to be below stairs is demeaning.

These two pieces of work had a unity and related to each other. Yet they also represent the undercurrent of the division of the social classes within the UK, which has been bought to to the surface again through the government’s policy of austerity.