British artist Martin Westwood was invited by Project to produce ‘fatfinger (HAITCH.KAY.EKS)‘, a large-scale installation in the gallery and the foyer at Project; an ambitious work, which engages with the architecture of the building and notions of social space. It involved suspending papier-mâché balloons, inscribed with corporate logos distorted into abstract patterns, from strings above a floor of carpet tiles. The strings themselves where covered in office detritus such as blue tac and scotch tape. Using materials collected from offices, Westwood engaged in an act of creative vandalism, shredding paper and smearing chewing gum onto carpet tiles. The materials where then reconstructed into highly crafted components of a larger construction. The piece has a strong architectural quality and responded to the scale and dynamics of the Project building. It was selected partly because it engages with Project’s new building, the corporate nature of which was cause for debate in the city.
One of the effects of ‘fatfinger (HAITCH.KAY.EKS)‘ was to transform the banality and aesthetic poverty of corporate culture into a visual language that is simultaneously celebratory, meticulous, poetic and raw.
Due to the temporary nature of the installation, Project produced a catalogue which provides a comprehensive documentation of this work. Including detailed installation shots of the work, a text about the context in which the work was made, a text about the artist and biographical details.
Born in Sheffield and currently working in London, Martin Westwood belongs to a new generation of artists working in sculpture, who have emerged in the UK during the late 1990s. This group, who are gaining increasing national and international recognition, make works which combine formal inventiveness with a developed sense of context and theoretical underpinning. Westwood’s work is distinctive amongst his peers for its ambitious scale and complexity of construction. In his practice he brings together the unlikely combination of materials and references from corporate culture with hand-made and low-tech processes, producing installations which are both formally ingenious and thought provoking.
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