Saturday, May 10, 2014

Al Braithwaite: The Limes Installation

Tuesday 13 May to Saturday 7 June, 2014, at Alice Yard
Opening conversation: Tuesday 13 May, 6.30 pm

Al Braithwaite is a British conceptual artist who has been resident in Trinidad since April 2013, having relocated from London. In recent months he has been working out of Alice Yard’s Granderson Lab space in Belmont.

Braithwaite’s new project The Limes Installation opens at Alice Yard on Tuesday 13 May, with an informal conversation in which the artist will discuss his recent work. The Limes Installation can be viewed until the night of Saturday 7 June, when the project will close with an informal get-together.

The Limes Installation is a crop of limes that has been pulled out of the fire. The installation comprises 286 charred fruit. The artist writes:

“As a symbolic device placed in its historic context, the installation continues the tradition of fruit being used in art to symbolise mortal flesh, recalling the Dutch 17th-century Vanitas painting tradition. It revisits this tradition together with an earlier (mid-16th century) tradition of burning heretics during the English Reformation, during the reign of Mary I. The names of the 286 men and women who died for their faith in this way for resisting papal authority are applied to labels on the exterior of the fruits.

“The capacity for the installation to horrify is written into the limes’ seared surface, creating a memorial to aspects of resistance, state-sanctioned brutality, and sectarian tensions among believers. The troubling and potentially heroic idea of self-sacrifice runs through The Limes Installation, and finds traction in the metaphor of the way that a fruit might give its flesh for the dispersal of a seed.

“The black skin of each object is curious in its lifeless, post-catastrophe state, and attests to the depredations and violence visited on its surface. Such a feeling of aftermath reinforces the question of the whereabouts/cultural memory of the absent souls that have been expunged from their physical bodies. The work hinges on a paradox of the action of fire: that it can preserve as it consumes, turning soft ephemeral forms into archival tokens. In this way, fluid and seasonal material can be transformed into a series of turgid vessels, akin, for instance, to the transformation of clay when passed through a kiln. The fragile breakability of the resulting vessels can heighten the sense of care required to maintain each object’s integrity, through periods of political crisis and periods of natural disaster.”

All are invited.

About Al Braithwaite:

Al Braithwaite (b. 1979) is a contemporary artist from London, who works across a variety of disciplines, including sculpture, assemblage, found material, and installation. His work fits into a tradition of conceptual art, recalling Dada, Surrealism, Fluxus, and aspects of Orphism. He links his work to an interest in struggle, addressing concurrent themes in geopolitics, ethics, metaphysics, mysticism, and existentialism. He has been resident in Trinidad since April 2013.

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