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Sunday, 13 May 2007
Evolution of Art

To choose order over disorder, or disorder over order, is to accept a trip composed of both the creative and destructive. But to choose the creative over the destructive is an all creative trip composed of both order and disorder.

From: Principia Discordia

Local Oxted artist Avril Sharp is to have an Open Studio at her home from 7 to 17 June 2007. This is part of the Surrey Artists Open Studios initiative.

Her neighbours are already familiar with some of the artist’s recent post-modern work. The photo sequence below shows the evolution of Avril’s art in three phases.  Phases 1 and 2 have already featured on this blog.

Phase 1: Colonisation
Before Picture

Here the artist, possibly inspired by Tracy Emin’s beach hut has produced a garden shed. The freshly unvarnished shed represents the order of the suburban environment. The artist has cleverly subverted this meaning by removing her garden fence and placing the shed beyond her garden boundary.

Phase 2: Destruction
After Picture

In the next phase of her project, Avril has further cocked a snoop at middle-class sensibilities by destroying the trees and shrubs along her garden boundary. This phase follows a long established notion in post-modern art of the destruction of a work being as aesthetically important as its creation. In this case the artist achieves the aesthetic effect without destroying the “colonial shed”.

Phase 3: Disorder

In her final act of genius the artist removes the shed to the other side of the garden. The coloniser is repatriated. To offset this sense of restored order the artist creates a sense of dis-ease and havoc by scattering stones and piles of bricks. There are large patches of bare ground in her lawn. In a touch of genius the artist has started rebuilding the fence which she removed. However she has repositioned it so that it forms part of an incomplete arc. Like one of Escher’s drawings one cannot see how the fence could be completed along the boundary line without defying mathematical laws. 

Visitors to one of the artist’s open days next month may not see the final artwork: the artist has been working slowly on the project over the past six months and there is no sign that she sees any urgency in bringing it to an early conclusion. Her neighbours are most interested in seeing a conclusion to this project, and wonder in trepidation whether the next phase will begin a trajectory towards reconcilliation or chaos.

Phase 4: Enclosure (updated 5 July 2007)

The artist seems to have attempted to bring the artwork to a rapid closure by removing the rubble and planting a row of shrubs along the line where the council refused permission for her to erect a wooden fence. This phase I call “enclosure” because she has enclosed a good metre or two of the service strip/communal land into her own garden by planting the shrubs to form a hedge well beyond the boundaries of her land.

Some of her neighbours feel this final stage was enacted a bit too rapidly: mediation between the Sharps and their neighbours, in an attempt to resolve the impasse, commences next week.  One of their neighbours has now accused them of

acting in bad faith as they are “establishing facts on the ground” with regard to the fence/shrubs/hedge while mediation is yet to take place.

Posted by bigblue on 13/05/2007 at 06:02 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (3) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

Some of her neighbours may want to engage in a bit of post-modern “vandalism as art criticism”.


Posted by mojo  on  13/05/2007  at  06:46 PM

What is “vandalism as art criticism”?

Posted by bigblue  on  13/05/2007  at  10:49 PM

A partial guide to art vandalism

Posted by mojo  on  14/05/2007  at  11:52 PM

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