Art Night Associate Programme 2017 London
Performers Joel O'Donoghue, Lorea Burge
images Damian Griffiths
Cache was a sculptural and performative collage in response to the site of Devonshire Square East London, a complex of warehouses originally used to store textiles brought over from India. The sculptural props drew on the mesmerising qualities of the textiles that once passed through the site whilst the performance gestures used fragmentation, symmetry and shifting patterns and as day turned to night the work grew darker and more monstrous in tone.
The works titled Orphidian's Sequences (16 cadences, 7 cadences, 5 cadences, 3 cadences) are wall hung sculptures with footprints ranging from the smallest sequences 30 x 40 x 10 cm to the largest sequences 130 x 110 x 10 cm, in varying tones of pinks and yellows, made of jesmonite, are decorative approximations of patterns. Coiled around and traversing the arrangements are snakes formed from ceramic chains so that their bodies are articulated, like cogs in an unidentified system. Candida Powell-Williams repeatedly utilises the pliability of snake symbol to represent transformation, uncertainty, the feminine and rebirth. The serpent through the ages has been both worshiped and demonised and in this way has become a symbol of both good and evil. Here this uncertainty and impending danger destabilises the decorative hoard of forms. The series comes in shifting patterns which the artist calls cadences to describe the experience of the different modulations and flow of the pieces, hinting at the artist's growing interest in rhythm and sound of her installations. First shown as part of a floor-based installation and performance titled Cache, part of Art Night London 2017, it is typical of Candida Powell-Williams' practice to reappropriate forms from her own archive so that they become emblematic of the uncertainty of history.