David McLeavy | Villa | 06 April - 26 May 2013
Through creating an ambiguous environment that blurs the boundaries between a living space and a gallery space, McLeavy examines how we view, associate and interact with our own individually assembled domesticated spaces.
Originally built as a series of stonemason's cottages, the gallery's domestic past is still evident today, through the preserved stone fireplaces, wooden beams and original windows. Engaging with this unique context, McLeavy explores and connects with the historical lineage of the space and the evolution of its role from a private living room to a public gallery.
Mass produced objects, including vases and candlestick holders - made from once considered high art materials, such as granite and marble - are placed in the environment raising questions surrounding the origins, status and application of these materials. Similarly, handmade furniture reminiscent of the Bauhaus designs from the 1920s are placed alongside contemporary mass-produced home-ware providing a new context for discussions surrounding the aesthetic and practical considerations in domestic design.
Exploring the way we arrange and organise the carefully selected collection of objects present in our homes, McLeavy presents a backdrop for a continuous curatorial project. Over the course of the exhibition, the objects on display will be rearranged according to the tastes and preferences of a team of selected individuals, each 'redesign' or 'redecoration' bringing a new style, a new personality and a new exhibition. Through playing with the way that we decorate, furnish and arrange our personal living spaces, McLeavy suggests the idea of entire living rooms being a physical manifestation of our personalities, lifestyles and aspirations.
Guest performers will also temporarily inhabit the space, performing domestic tasks and appearing to live in the environment that McLeavy has created. What may at first seem familiar and hospitable, will soon become alien as visitors spend time in the space and realise the practical flaws in the domestic ideal that is presented before them.
By taking inspiration from various periods in the history of art and design and marrying them together in one setting, McLeavy evades a specific domestic fashion, artistic tradition or historical context and creates a timeless still life; a living portrait of a utopian interior and yet simultaneously an environment which, on further inspection, is uninhabitable.
South Square, Thornton, Bradford, BD13 3LD
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Design: Qubik | Built with Indexhibit