Resin Knitting Needles. Aluminium. Pewter. Glass. Paper Map. Wool Felt.
‘Liminal’ an exhibition about the old Graylingwell psychiatric hospital,Chichester.
Longitude: -0° 46' 28.3296"
Latitude: 50° 50' 32.532"
Using the construct proposed by Deleuze and Guattari in ‘1440: The Smooth and the Striated.’[i] The work, uses hand rolled felt (the smooth nomadic cloth- space constantly being translated) to contain the grid lines of an OS map or Longitude and Latitude, the lines by which we locate ourselves.[ii] The crocheted silk embedded in the felt - the striated fabric represents the settlements and the institution of Graylingwell Psychiatric Hospital and the neighbouring barracks. Records of the Graylingwell site show ancient earth works, which form part of the ‘Chichester Dykes’ and are evidence of a proto- urban tribal settlement. The crocheted is employed to evoke this and Calvino’s 'Ersilia' [iii], the traces that settlement leaves. The crocheted mat(s) also alludes to the domestic but there is disorder in the structure, it is no longer a familiar doily it is a metaphor for the mind, indeed Lacan used textile as a metaphor for the subjects’ experience in analysis.
The work is about the layers of the settlements and movement; the physical and the psychological. The order of making, the mould and the cast, the ludicrous notion of pouring molten pewter into felt molds formed around glass, the construction of fabric. It is about the layers of history that we dig up and display and the placement of objects to suggest the narrative.
[i] A Thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia
Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari
London : Athlone Press 1988 pg 479
[ii] 1440 is the date when Longitude and Latitude were employed to navigate the abstract ‘smooth’ space of sea, an allegory for the mind and the liminal boundaries of sanity. The map becomes the stand in for the old Graylingwell Institute in the recovery of the patient.
[iii] Invisible Cities Italo Calvino
London : Pan Books 1979 page 76