The Wooden Igloo | Sigbjørn Bratlie | 07 August - 22 September 2013

Interim event: Friday 06 September 2013 7-9pm

Artist's Talk: Friday 20 September 7 - 8pm

Throughout August and September, South Square Gallery will become home and studio for Norwegian artist Sigbjørn Bratlie. Located on the edge of Brontë Country, the gallery space will offer itself as a live-in studio where Bratlie will be afforded both time and space to develop his artistic practice in a very different setting to that of his studio in Oslo.

Drawing on his conceptual and humour based art practice, Bratlie will respond to the context of the residency through developing a new body of work centred around the act of building a home or house-like structure whilst living within the space itself. Over the weeks, Bratlie will create new sculptural, installation and performance work, with a particular focus on applying his eleven years’ experience of carpentry and interior decorating to fabricate a life-sized, pristine white igloo.

Within the walls of the gallery in West Yorkshire, in the height of British summer, this peculiarly displaced model of a traditional Arctic living structure will form a focal point around which Bratlie will create an extensive imaginary narrative setting. As part of this process, Bratlie will perform a fictional role, representing an age-old custom of ‘Norwegian wooden igloo building’. Operating an ‘open door’ policy, the visiting public will find themselves immersed in an ever-evolving, nonsensical and diversionary environment.

The Wooden Igloo offers the opportunity to consider varying modes of temporary residence devised by different cultures. In response to this backdrop, the gallery will run a series of collaborative workshops with a group of refugees and asylum seekers currently living in Bradford. Reflecting upon notions of secure, temporary and imaginary spaces in which to reside, the participants will work with an artist to create a shelter-like structure in South Square’s garden.

Continuing in the tradition of many previous artists who have worked and exhibited at South Square Gallery, Bratlie’s residency will bring to light questions of the divide between gallery and living space, and of temporary and permanent abode. For Bratlie, as an international artist, the residency also explores the experience of being a foreigner in a foreign space, whilst humorously reflecting on his role as an artist.

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