Emma Woffenden

No Horizon

25 April - 4 June 2003

This is a complex and sensorial installation, with an emphasis on movement, drama and tension. Figures in strong movement and dramatic gesture have informed the work although the results are austere and minimal. It is made up of invented forms and symbolic existing objects – a moving trapeze, glass bells – dislocated sound, moving light and shadows.

There are references to ideas within Baroque art, primarily looking at the integration of sculpture and architecture – a complete fusion of different art forms. In this case I am trying to link existing architecture and installation.

The first stage of the tour opened at Fabrica on Friday 25 April 2003.  Fabrica’s ecclesiastical interior was possibly Woffenden’s most challenging project. For No Horizon, the artist juxtaposed a swinging trapeze, glass bells and swathes of rope to create a ‘dangerous’ scenario.

The project reflected and stretched current practice among crafts people, to place objects in environments. It addressed the conflict between touring and site-specific installation. It differed substantially from a tour of pre-made objects, re-displayed at each venue as here the artist included the staging and the interaction between object, space and viewer as part of the intention and exploration within the work.  She developed the work to be presented in three different venues as part of its initial concept.  The placing was hers, rather than that of a designer or gallery staff.

The project offered the opportunity for an established materials-based artist or craftsperson to make a step change – to work on a larger scale, to involve others, to widen their skills and practice.

The brief was to make a new work (or series of works) that connects and resonates with each site.  It was envisaged that the work would be re-articulated in each venue, and that it may evolve during the life of the project between April 2003 and May 2004, that Elements might be adapted, omitted, added to.

Angel Row Gallery (Nottingham) Firstsite (Colchester) and Fabrica (Brighton) commissioned UK glass artist, Emma Woffenden to create new work for their exhibition spaces. The exhibition No Horizon appeared consecutively at each venue and evolved and respond to each site as the tour unfolded.

This innovative collaboration, which broke new ground in commissioning and presenting visual art also provided a mentoring opportunity for three less established materials based artists or craftspeople.

The project is funded by Arts Council England National Touring Programme.