NSP 2017 Finalist • Joel Reilly
I am a Manchester based artist who specialises in sculpture and installation. My art takes inspiration from the chaotic aesthetic of urban architecture. I am interested in the constantly changing, layered nature, of materials in the built environment. I am particularly concerned with the accumulation of things which are solely pragmatic and temporary but also transform the spatiality of the places in which they are found. The act of building shelter is an ever-present part of human history and is a big source of fascination for me when making work.
The work blueday is a large-scale sculpture, which aims at aesthetic balance between Modernist public sculpture and a more general playground aesthetic. The modular form of blueday also references temporary, modular systems that can be found in the urban landscape, such as road barriers, fences and hoardings. In appearance this sculpture, at first glance, could be read as a familiar monumental male statement. In fact, the aim of the piece is to subvert this encounter, by taking as much from an inviting playground, in its form, as it does from a historical narrative. In the openness of its form the sculpture allows the viewer to enter into its interior, without feeling like they are encroaching on the private space of a traditional stone plinth, which would usually keep them spectating at a distance.