Visited Aberdeen this weekend to explore the city, participate in Doors Open Scotland and attend the opening of Fabric of the Land 2014. The city itself is astonishing in its solidity and topography, with a central harbor, variety of grey tones and long and short street perspectives. By chance, happened upon a WW1 exhibition in the Art Gallery, securely set against a moss green background. Nestled in the back – a folding hospital bed and washstand. After seeing them in paintings and photographs and searching online for a long while – an extraordinary serendipitous encounter.
The bed and washstand were raised on a plinth so the visitor didn’t need to stoop(?) with a sign and rope cordoning it off from touch making height and dimension approximate. With different materials fit for purpose, camouflaged moss green, thick for the washstand, thin for the bed and head cover, chamfered timbers connected through light clasps, hooks and metal strips all painted black. The fragility and modesty of these structures in comparison to todays folding contraptions express economy – reminiscent of Buckminster Fuller’s tensegrity structures with Kenneth Snelson – all with an embodied strength.
In contacting the gallery for further information, Blackberry Tonic crystallizes:
A work to navigate the transformation of home front architectures and the vitality of the skyward perspective in recovery.