As I have previously mentioned my presentation for the solo aspect of the exhibition will comprise of an instillation incorporating textile-based sculpture and video projection. The concept for the piece centres on the same themes of migration and migrant labour that I have been working through over the past year. The themes are expressed through the creation of a ‘squatters camp’ sculpture comprising of three small tent frames covered in netting. The netting is made out of shredded plastic bags and torn up fabrics using a knitting technique. The shredded bags represent the pressure that corporations, such as large Supermarket chains, place on migrant labour.
The use of nets is reminiscent of the sea and the physical journey of migrants across bodies of water. Meanwhile the relationship between the sheltering implied by the tents and the exposure represented by the open netting, comments on the often vulnerable position of the migrant.
The film will be developed from a piece I created at the end of last term. It will comprise of footage of tidal movements shot in black and white and sped up and reversed to create a disconcerting image. This will be accompanied by eerie and unsettling sounds such as whirring, moaning and screeching. The footage will be interspersed with fast flashing images of foreign TV stations which will further add to the sense of disorientation.
One challenge for the instillation is to achieve an unsettling dystopian feel while maintaining an aesthetic sense. I am not trying to faithfully recreate a squatters camp but to use this symbolism to engage the viewer, therefore the tent sculptures will be aesthticised rather than authentic. However I need to create some sense that the ‘camp’ could be occupied if I want the viewer to really engage with it. To do this I will use materials such as torn up sheets to suggest decay and disorder of cramped human habitation.
The space that the instillation is displayed in needs to be dark, not purely because of the projection but also to create a gloomy and oppressive feel, I am trying to affect the viewer emotionally with my work by getting across some sense of the desperation, confusion and disorientation experienced by many illegal migrants, refugees and asylum seekers that travel from their homes in hope of a better life and often end up as cheap disposable labour at the hands of large corporations.