Our Place, the title of Simon Woolham’s show at BLOCspace is a generic title that refers to all aspects of his practice. He is concerned primarily with occupied spaces and the personal and shared narratives that unfold in them. His drawings of school playing fields, junked underpasses and the like often contain text with the tone of dialogue. Through these glimpses of speech the dilapidated environments come to life in a skint version of enchantment: a tree stump or a broken fence are filled with the meanings of the events that go on around and about them.
In his attempts to unearth this unpredictable and fragile process of memory, for the show at Bloc he will use biro drawings, model interventions, animation, video and text that focus on recurring motives in his work: ditches, unofficial dumps, breached security fences. His work is unassuming, quite often made from simple materials and with seemingly modest aspirations. It is their quotidian qualities, however, that charges them with emotion, not that those emotions are easy to identify.
It is not that these works are personal or autobiographical that obscures their emotional content, it is the fact that they are irreducibly, irrevocably unsettling. These sites are the scenes of humiliation as well as innocent play, of rejection and failure as well as fantasy and adventure. They are as sweet as other people’s children and as deadly as your own worst memories.
Click here for images of the exhibition
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