A new sculpture for the Serpentine Gallery – Sneak Preview
Here’s a little update on some new artwork I’ve been creating recently. A new sculpture that’s will be fully unveiled at the Serpentine Gallery project space in January.
I began by looking at ways in which we organise ourselves and compartmentalise time, what kind of mark, measure or impact does time have on us? And how could I possibly represent time through art?
I began exploring ideas of organizing chaos, cyclical time, and the idea of distraction and disorder – I looked at diaries and schedules versus timelines or watch faces.
Exploring schedules led to thinking about the philosophical nature of time and how one experiences it, also how on a micro scale the moments and individuals in time get left behind in a chaotic swathe of moments rushing onwards. Do we make an imprint?
The intangibility of time fascinates me. Is it real? how fast does it go by in relation to everything else? Does it stop tomorrow? Would we ever know? I became interested in the way we mark time, and that we have a need for moments to become tangible or visual to us. We systematically transcribe events and happenings – desperate not to let memories slip away even though they have already ceased to exist. We fill our diaries and calendars with future events and plans, visualising these as ahead of us in the future. But the idea of stepping outside of this, of viewing things from another angle, started to play on my mind. Time is traditionally linear or even cyclical – but it could all be occurring at once or in a completely different order to how we experience it.
Life can be chaotic, and I was searching for the perfect metaphor to illustrate the apparently haphazardness of life, but with some sense of overall order or direction being there if you stand back or re-order – and I found it in the Rubik’s Cube.
If life was like a Rubik’s Cube, then there is some kind of satisfaction to me in knowing that even when it seems impossible, pointless and disordered, somewhere in there is a pattern and a direction – we just can’t see it from within the puzzle itself.
Further research told me that in a standard 3x3x3 Rubik’s puzzle, there are 239,500,800 ways to arrange the edges, and forty-three quintillion positions. (Which is such a big number it cant be comprehended. To give some perspective, if we gathered together as many 57-millimeter Rubik’s Cubes as there are permutations, they could cover the Earth’s surface 275 times.) How can something so neat and simple cause such an immense amount of variations? I like this as a metaphor for the decisions and choices in life and the impact these then have on it’s direction.
Rubik’s Years is a sculpture about a chaotic life or a chaotic mind, it shows the apparent disorder of time becoming ordered and disordered again. The ebb and flow. The individual fragments of time blending into one. It also plays with the ideas of being able to see things in hindsight and the fluctuations between how we feel from one day to the next.
Both puzzling and clear at the same time. I think it also alludes to madness, or at least the type of madness that we are all afflicted with on some level.
Some sneak previews:
Nicola Anthony is a London based artist creating art to make the mind crackle. Her artwork can be found internationally. She has exhibited at Tate Modern, received exhibition sponsorship from Tate Britain and is currently represented in LA and London.