Marie Brett speaking of how the immersiveness and materiality of the sculptural installation is important:
Initially, I saw the multiplicity of the global justice strands that are embedded in the commission as distinct and separate, but after a period of time, I realized their interconnectedness, and the task then for the art installation was to find means to make a piece of work that can navigate across the strands and to offer new contribution, new ways of thinking, and new means for the public to engage in global justice issues access points, both for the research and for the issues themselves.
The materiality and visuality of the installation is important. The materials were chosen for their symbology - so for example the lorry tarp having traversed physically across Europe now being repurposed as a roof and the massive corrugated iron panels - worn and rusted and punctured from previous life use in agricultural settings.
The installation has both inner and outer spaces. Outside it has the appearance of an itinerant structure, maybe a dwelling, a home, perhaps a boat or a shanty, and it is perched intentionally quite precariously sat on a raft of big, heavy timbers amid a sprawling sea of debris.
Once a person has climbed inside the dimly lit interior spaces, there are two rooms, each housing minimal allegorical objects amid a discordant soundscape; one that disorientates, even bewilders, and lingers, made up of layered field recordings, news footage, appropriated gaming sounds and deep bass machinery.
A visitor in these spaces may wonder - is this a safe place?, is this a place of rest or refuge? Or is this a hostile place of capture, of holding, of even imprisonment? The uncertainty is inherent in the art piece.
There are four videos inserted into the floor and within punctures, almost ruptures in the steel walls. Each video responds to a different global justice issue and pivots between fact and fiction, known and supposed.
There are also physical and symbolic threshold points within the installation that bridge ideas of seeking and/or gaining entry and exit from one juristiction or country to another. The visitor’s physical moving through the dwelling like construction (from entering, to one room then another and finally exiting through a one-way swing bar gate), metaphorically references the rights and plights of people’s European passage and that of contested territory and contested behaviours.
The back door is a one-way swinging exit with a tarpauin covering what lies ahead. A visitor has to be physically brave to use it, to push firmly through the steel; you have to make a choice to leave when the route or passage out is not clear. The door certainly references people’s right of passage and the right of movement, and questions who and how entry and exit is negotiated, who leads, who follows, who has rights, who deos not, what is just and what is fair.
ON THE EDGE OF MY SKY
This film shows the art installation and visitor’s interactions accompanied by the artists insight.
ON THE EDGE OF MY SKY
Prof. Ben Tonra
(UCD Politics & International Relations)
This film documents design ideas, installation and art piece.
A Multi-Media Sculptural Installation
exhibited at The European Parliament in Brussels and commissioned by GLOBUS, an international research community exploring how the European Union is contributing to global justice
A MULTI-MEDIA SCULPTURAL INSTALLATION
On approach, the large bulk of a structure references itinerant shanty dwellings and utilizes repurposed materials with symbolic meaning. The whole construction is elevated and sits precariously perched on a raft of huge heavy timbers, with a messy swathe of waste and debris surrounding it. Once inside, there are two adjoining rooms, each dimly lit. The walls are made from large sheets of rusting corrugated iron, repurposed from agricultural usage and butcher-hook hung, they reveal small slit vistas to the outside. A timber flooring, made of reclaimed building-site scaffolds, is modular with a hatch door and shifts slightly when walked over. One room has a smelly carpet and steel cage with a bucket and flip-flops under blue light, and a mess of electrical wiring accompanies a discordant soundscape. Four small videos of news footage and video gaming are embedded in the floor and iron walls. The roof is made from repurposed lorry freight tarpaulins, suspended over hedgerow bender poles.
Outside and surrounding the structure there is an ‘ever-growing’ debris of waste batteries, used plastic and buoyancy aid life-jackets.
Marie Brett from ‘meaning, materials & symbolism’ video
GLOBUS’s scholars question the notion of justice in the context of globalisation within the analysed sectors of climate change, development and trade, security/conflict, migration and gender. As part of the GLOBUS research community, the artist worked especially closely with Professor Ben Tonra and Dr Nikola Tomic (University College Dublin). The installation design concept and production was realised in collaboration with Ben Thomas and the piece was designed to flat-pack and tour internationally