art december in london . part 1

Found - Stuart Haygarth
until 30.01.10  
Haunch of Venison

Optical (Tinted) Large (2009)

I have seen the works of Stuart Haygarth before in various fairs. The first time I came across his works in actually on a magazine about lighting. However, a click into his official website after my read led me to a fascinating world of spectacles that simply took my breath away.

Lighthouse (8 individual works) (2009)

Top: Urchin (Fat); Urchin (Slender); Urchin (Thin) (2009)
Bottom: Raft (Dogs); Raft (Cats) (2009)

His works are all related to abandoned objects that he found everyday. Sometimes he creates a piece using them, the other times he made completely new work inspired by them.

Close-up of one of the Urchins

And the moment you see these trivial, banal items being pulled together and form a new identity together, the feel is surreal. It is like the fairy tale of a frog turning into a prince in front of the eye of a princess.

Close-up of the cats in Raft

Top: Mirror Ball (2009)
Bottom: Barnacle (black) (2009)

Mirror Ball and Barnacle (black); both 2009 - video link

The mirror ball is created with smashed car wing mirrors Stuart collected from narrow roads and 'hot spots' in London. The moment you saw its revolving sparkles when you enter the room, you would not have thought of how many lives may have been lost or how much injuries may have been caused in each of these mirrors; and the stories that led to those. How scary we are admiring something which was actually created by dangerous behaviours of human that shouldn't have happened...

Close-up of the lens in Optical (Tinted) Large

Wingmirror (2009) - with reflection of Magoo Chandelier (2009)

A thought come to my mind when I was watching the news about COP15 after I went to see this show. It is great that Stuart has recycled what is literally thrown-away rubbish-to-be in his works and made them 'reusable' again. Yet he still creates other works which is inspired by these objects but uses whole new materials. I'm not saying that is immoral, and at least it is better than some other artists who simply creates spectacles at all costs that have absolutely no concern about environment.

And even all these 'recycled' works are relatively low in carbon footprints, once they are snapped by galleries or museums, they would be transported around the world on different shows, which is very carbon-intensive in the journeys. Yet the art world seem to be blind in this way of operation, with virtually NO established museums or galleries in the world having any form of sustainability statement on how they would try to minimise their carbon footprints in commissioning, exhibiting or acquiring works (If you know of any, I will be very interested to learn about it and publicise it here). Isn't that shameful? Or is it that creative freedom should not be bound by any form of hindrance, including environmental concerns?

Magoo Chandelier (2009)

Full photo set here with more close-ups of all the works exhibited.

Further Readings:
Official website - Stuart Haygarth
Official page for the show at Haunch of Venison