Portsmouth-based artist Jeannie Driver writes about her latest exhibition, Ash Steps, showing at the Bank Space Gallery, London.
Ash Steps was made in response to the context and architectural features of the Bank Space Gallery and created onsite for the exhibition, Preparing the Site, curated by Emma Vardi and Anna Warberton. The exhibition explores how material processes and methods of display are used to alter the physical and metaphorical function of things and the sites that they occupy.
For three weeks, beginning on May 12 2016, Preparing the Site has occupied the Bank Space Gallery. Presently the gallery approaches the end of its legacy as a space for the display of art; the building that houses the gallery is to be sold, and the form and function of the site will consequentially be redefined and restructured.
Inspired by this climate of change imposed on the gallery, Preparing the Site aims to explore ideas of total physical and conceptual transformation by enveloping the space in art and materiality.
Ash Steps is a work within a work, comprised of paper from the 2007 project, SPIKE IT. Jeannie’s practice often involves processes that re- form material or its presentation and form for new artworks. This new exploration of ash involves collecting, burning, stoking, cooling, panning and sifting on an almost industrial scale.
Ash Steps references connections between two states and presents an illusion of choice, to ascend or descend. The fragility and precariousness of Ash Steps is not at first apparent, in both appearance and form it appears visually akin to concrete. However on further inspection, burnt paper visible, this essentially ephemeral material is presented as a solid yet with portent to degrade, disintegrate, ruin.
The work was created onsite for the exhibition Preparing the Site. Subsequent presentations of ash steps will be reduced in scale due to the reduction of material.
You can watch a timelapse video of Jeannie installing the exhibition below.
Bank Space Gallery, 59-63 Whitechapel High Street E1 7PF
12- 28th May Tuesday – Saturday 11-6pm