My RCA Graduate Project explored commissioning in an urban context. Fragmented Follies was a temporary outdoor commission by Sam Jacob, architect and designer and principal of Sam Jacob Studio. The project was in partnership with Wandsworth Council’s Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park, London.
Jacob created a series of striking abstracted sculptures, inspired by the traditional concept of the ‘Folly’ - a construction made simply for aesthetics - which enlivened and transformed the terrace of the gallery. Created directly from the design language of Battersea Park, the works drew upon the layered architectural and cultural histories of this urban greenspace and its surroundings. With the underpinning belief that ‘Architecture is all about people’, Jacob designed the work to encourage visitors to interact with the sculptures in any way they chose. Fundamental to our curatorial vision for the project was public accessibility; in defiance of the barriers which often discourage interaction with contemporary sculpture. Passers-by were invited to climb on the pieces, eat their lunch off them as though they were tables or simply stop and take in the view!
The Graduate Project allowed me to refine my skills and individual curatorial practice within the real-world environment of a high-profile arts organisation, working alongside a local authority.
The project was co-designed with Year 9 students (13 to 14 years old) from Burntwood School, South London, through two creative workshops. This collaborative way of working was integral to the philosophy for the project - that relationships can make things - an approach that is fundamental to my curatorial practice.