Folded figures fill the Wellcome Trust’s windows in new commission
A newly commissioned installation by Phoebe Argent brings a little artistic edge to Euston Road.
'View' is made from a folded paper sheet featuring two photographed figures, whose movements and poses change as viewers pass the concertinaed surface they occupy. It will be displayed in the windows of the Wellcome Trust headquarters for a year.
The work creates a narrative of changing perspectives as the figures disappear behind the edge of folds, are foreshortened towards the back of the display, appear suddenly or are fragmented either side of an edge in the paper. 'View' playfully exploits a tension between 2D and 3D fields, and the result is a visual drama where perception is directed and challenged by the carefully placed creases.
'View' is the winner of a competition open to undergraduate and postgraduate students from University of the Arts London on the theme 'The changing perception of images'. Phoebe Argent is a third-year BA student in graphic design at Camberwell College of Arts.
The partnership between the Wellcome Trust and the University will extend into 2015: a second work from the competition, 'Eye-contact' by Peter Hudson, is scheduled for display from July 2014.
Clare Matterson, Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust, says: "The collaboration between the Wellcome Trust and University of the Arts London has provided a unique platform for talented young artists to draw inspiration from the research areas of image perception, memory and neuroscience supported by the Trust. Phoebe Argent's winning design is at once disarmingly simple and kaleidoscopic, encouraging passers-by on the Euston Road to look, and look again."
Sigune Hamann, artist, lecturer and curator of the Wellcome Trust Windows commission, says: "This interdisciplinary collaboration is a great opportunity for students to explore the changing ways in which we deal with images. With rapid technological developments, no longer are images read only as forms. They are also experienced as events: grouped, fractured, layered and changing over time.
"Phoebe Argent's concertina installation heightens the viewer's perception of figures as images through fragmentation and distortion: humans in constant communication with their environment, receiving and sending signals."