Slightly less traditional than flowers or chocolates, Love Heart Fence by artist Graham Guy Robinson at Plymouth College of Art makes a special one-day appearance for Valentine’s Day.
Love Heart Fence is an 8m sheet of orange plastic barrier fencing, a familiar and inconspicuous object with a twist. On closer inspection you will find the traditionally lozenge-shaped perforations have been replaced with 960 love hearts hand cut by the artist.
The work has been made at Plymouth Arts Centre, where Graham is currently artist in residence. As part of the exhibition, members of the public are also being invited to see the cutting out of the last 100 hearts as part of a free event at Plymouth Arts Centre on Wednesday, January 13.
In total the work will take over three weeks to make.
“It’s a labour of love’ says the artist,on one level ridiculous, hand crafting a machine-made object but I like what happens when one process is replaced with another. Taking the motif of the lozenge and replacing it as a heart creates a talking point, a temporary landmark,” Graham told the PRSD.
Temporary plastic fencing is a familiar part of our public landscape. “It has the potential to capture private space from public places or public space from private space and suggests an activity as imminent or taking place,” he said.
With this work, the artist hopes to throw up some questions about how we inhabit public spaces, how we use them and how we might reimagine them.
“I like to imagine the work as a temporary platform, an eventful pause in the cityscape. As a piece of public sculpture it needs the public’s presence to function as artwork,” he said.
Love Heart Fence, 2013 is the latest in a series of temporary fence sculptures that Graham has been making since 2003.
‘Coming from a painting background, I like to work with materials that sit somewhere between a surface and an object’ says the artist of his decision to use barrier fencing in his work.
For his interesting use of materials, Graham has received many accolades, finalist at the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in 2007, to the Northern Print Biennale in 2009 and most recently winning the 2012 Broomhill National Sculpture Prize.
Graham has exhibited all over the country, however, he is pleased to see his work being shown in Plymouth, where he has received support from local businesses and institutions in the making of his work.
“I’m very grateful to the arts centre and the art college, who have both been so supportive in creating space for this work to happen,” he said.
“My relationship with the college spans over a long period time. I used the college’s facilities to make prints as part of my work for the Jerwood Sculpture Prize, they also helped to produce complex 10-metre photographs for the Northern Print Biennale and last year, I took part in the AA2A project with the college, which provides placements for visual artists and designer makers in Higher and Further Education institutions.”
This year, Graham has been making work for a new show at Plymouth Arts Centre where he is artist in residence.
Formative is a compilation of exhibitions, temporary installations and film screenings which looks at the ways artists work with form and sculpture. As part of this exhibition Graham will be showing New Parts of a Changing Whole, which he describes as ‘a departure from my barrier fence work, a collaboration between event, object and audience’.
Graham’s exhibition at Plymouth Arts Centre runs from March 12-20.
(from a press release)