2018-present. Mixed media installation(s) with suspended wire mesh sculptures (varying sizes) and multiple stage lights/ emergency tubelights and crushed gateway paper.
The ‘clouds’ installations are ongoing iterations in the artist’s sculptural work, continuing his investigations into abstract amorphous forms and their paradoxical representations. The installations serve as immersive sculptural environments, as well as possible sites for performative exchanges/events. The cloud-like forms are made from a metallic wire mesh material, with each unit uniquely shaped and contoured. The sizes vary from 3 feet in length to 15 feet or more.
The mesh/sieve-like material, although usually used to ‘separate’, suggests here a porous membrane or see-through layer through which travel may be possible. The sculptural units are suspended at varying heights and distances using transparent fishing tackle, giving them a buoyant floating appearance, further adding to the paradox of a heavy metallic object drifting weightlessly. Lighting plays a significant part in transforming the installations – a variety of stage lighting effects and movements are used to breathe life and logic into the sculptures. Often bottom-lit from a lower level, sometimes the units are also lit from above to generate shifting shadows and abstract patterns onto the floor level, which adds an immersive, interactive element for spectators. Certain smaller cloud units are given a further kinetic dimension by suspending them with a single string, which results in the unit constantly and gently whirling in a logic of its own.
The installation can be experienced immersively, as in the work ‘Lullaby, Stranger’ where spectators were invited to lie down on mattresses and view the clouds from below. The use of gently shifting stage lights added a subtle sense of 'drifting' to the clouds, imbuing them with a sentient quality.
The cloud installation can also be viewed frontally from a distance, as it was in the work ‘This Is All There Is When There Is All This’ where it provided the stage design for a physical theatre performance. Here the clouds further transformed into a colour avatar using theatre lights with coloured filters, adding yet another variation to the installation.
A particularly interesting iteration of the clouds was for a live sound and performance installation called ‘The Long And Short Of It’ by sound artist Marcel Zaes and choreographer Poorna Swami. This time the clouds were smaller units of 2 feet length, and were designed as self-illuminated amorphous sculptures using emergency tubelights and crushed gateway paper specifically shaped for each unit. The sculptures resembled miniature clouds or luminous crystals or glowing snow/foam, and served to create the lighting design for the piece. Here the paradox was explored by bringing the clouds, which appeared light and airy, down to the floor, with spectators viewing them from above. Additionally, the units were also handled, carried and transposed in specific sequences by the performers in the piece, keeping the installation in an animated state of flux.