If.... Alistair Owen

16 March - 2 April 2011

For the final installment of the If…. programme, as g39 begins the process of relocation, it is fitting to have a new body of work from Alistair Owen. Alistair's practice uses a wide range of media including installations, drawing, photography, film and sculpture. His recent work offers observations on how we adorn and configure our personal territory.

Living in a modestly sized basement flat in London and not having access to a studio has created a symbiosis between habitat and production. The work has, by necessity, to be modest in scale and materials. For many artists there is a decision to be made about the longevity of their work, once it is shown where does it locate itself afterwards? For much work it is the studio, loft, garage or skip that becomes the final resting place, sometimes being rescued and brought back to life for a short time, sometimes being left to the quietude of a physical subconscious. There is a sense of relegation or banishment to a remote region. But for the work in this show there is some continuity of purpose, both before and after the life of the show.

Owen’s bedroom is also his studio and the work for this show has its genesis, location and relocation there. The work is cohabited with and forms part of the daily fabric of his life. A shelf held by a vice uses the surface veneer of mass production but is made from layers of coloured card that displays a thin rainbow seam along its edge (Shelf2). The colours in this seam are released into two further pieces, a found photograph of g39 (Untitled) and opposite in the stairwell a floorplan of the bedroom, depicted in glossy blocks on a cloth ground (Untitled). And on the back wall, an animated film in a shoebox gives us a 360o view of the basement bedroom-studio. In this endless dervish-like rotation we can see the works contained in g39’s larger space mirrored in this smaller one, both location and relocation present and co-existent in an endless cycle.

  • <i>Shelf2</i> 2011