14 July - 2 September 2001
Brighton in the summer: 500 hours of expected sunshine; 4.5 million visitors; 10 million cups of tea and 2 million portions of chips. As the rhythm of the city picked up, the wastepaper baskets filled and the daily tide of visitors ebbed and flowed, Artstation created a giant inflated paper sculpture in Fabrica space. Using cutting edge computer technology, a kilometre of recycled paper and a team of volunteers, Glenn Davidson and Anne Hayes have transformed Fabrica with their spectacular new piece. The final work, Polyphon – a creature made of 58 separate paper sections joined together with gum strip – was produced on site in 2 and half weeks.
Pulp was a large-scale installation in paper, which captured the turnover and energy of summer in the city.
An organic figure – recorded by some visitors as a prawn, a tapeworm, a snake, or a sea monster, and by others as a musical instrument, a horn, a trumpet – Polyphon was a mysterious presence, an alien creature, a natural form with a pleasing shape, a big wave of tantalising beauty. Contrasting with the angles of the architectural space, it was incorporated into Fabrica’s structure as a continuation of its geometry, a giant gramophone coming out from the pulpit. “High-tech with a hand-made twist”, ephemeral yet durable, ancient yet contemporary, Polyphon was a mythological reminder of the problem of waste in secular throwaway culture.
Forms are developed which amplify and focus aspects of the environment, particularly how light, space and people interact, picking up the curiosities and securities of a location’s history and its contemporary life … Polyphon was developed in response to a site, Fabrica, and a place, Brighton, over a short time frame. Our ‘process’ started with an initial period of research about this building and the immediate locality. … It is a multiplicity of ideas, facts and observations that seem to best describe our perception of the city. Brighton is multifaceted, energetic, Pythonesque. Polyphon is our representation of this research.