A new public art commission by internationally renowned artist Camille Walala is on display now in Plymouth.
The commission, which is curated by Alter-Projects, is a major highlight of summer 2021 programme at The Box. It forms part of a series of events and activations designed to bring our newly-created public square, Tavistock Place to life for the very first time.
On display from 15 July until 5 September, ‘Putting Things In Perspective’, Camille Walala’s new temporary installation outside The Box plays with plane and perspective, existing somewhere between 2D and 3D in the manner of a trompe-l’œil. This free-standing sculptural work measures approximately 6m long by 2.5m wide and 2m high.
The commission forms part of The Box’s inaugural ‘Making It’ exhibition which explores the labour-intensive process of creating new works of art from raw materials and also references Plymouth and the South West’s long history of making and craftsmanship. The work will be fabricated in London and hand painted in Walala’s Shoreditch studio with long standing collaborator and technician Simon Sawyer, before being transported to and assembled in Plymouth.
Made from marine plywood, the piece is an energetic dance of contrasting forms, vivid colours, soft lines and organic patterns. The sculpture’s 20th-century references range from the cubist paintings of Fernand Léger, whose boldly simplified treatment of modern subjects has caused him to be regarded as a forerunner of Pop, to the monumental sculptures of Roy Lichtenstein, notable for his use of bold strong black lines and 3D patterns. In Walala’s hand-rendered black-and-white patterns there are traces of the allusive and figurative architecture and impulsive lines of Jean Dubuffet’s L’Hourloupe.
Devised through a process of collage – adding and taking away shapes until the perfect balance is reached – ‘Putting Things In Perspective’ represents an evolution in Walala’s thinking and approach. The signature symmetries and geometrics of her past work have acquired a softer edge and a more nuanced colour palette while continuing her long-standing concern with colour and public space.
Judith Robinson, Arts Programmes Manager at The Box, said: “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Alter-Projects and Camille Walala on this exciting addition to ‘Making It’ and our summer programme.
“Postponing our launch from May to September 2020 due to COVID-19 meant we missed the opportunity to create a programme for Tavistock Place last year, so we really want to make the most of 2021.
“Camille’s bold and distinctive style will have real impact in the space and will provide visitors to The Box and everyone who passes through the square with a striking and uplifting work of art to engage with and enjoy.”