I was asked to take part in an exhibition happening on the LSE campus, to make a response to the building of St Philips, a place rich in social history due to be demolished to make way for a more modern design for the University.
The show entitled 'Students, patients and paupers' due to the use of the building throughout its history as a workhouse, then hospital, then academic building aims to celebrate the many lives of the building. When exploring the building I was told about how the building's turn of the century design echoed changing ideas of how workhouses were being built to stop the spread of disease by being highly ventilated, light and spacious places whereas previous ideas had been to make the buildings undesirable places to discourage people from wanting to be there.
With this in mind I paid attention to the details of design within the building that related to improving the lives of the inhabitants, and the fragments of activity within the vast white walls.
I chose to make a long vertical weaving, the composition echoing my initial walk of the building.
Woven back to back with my san gimignano weaving project and with only 5 days from seeing the building to opening night, this was an intense project but enjoyable; I chose to use whatever resources I had already which forced me to find solutions to problems I had. One for instance was I did not have the right colours to reflect the colours in the building so I tried to use a colour theory technique I had read about recently in the Interactions of Color by Josef Albers which places colours of different values in a relationship so that the eye sees a colour of a middle value between the two. I want to continue exploring colour in the way, which makes sense in the way I already explore tones in the use of stripes in the monochrome work.
It is an excellent and superbly organised exhibition; on for a few more days if you get a chance go along and have a look.