In this strange house... 2012A project inspired by the writing of Edward Bulwer-Lytton and the in-house collection of New Art Gallery Walsall, UK.
The Museum houses works by artist Odilon Redon which are illustrations to a Bulwer-Lytton ghost story. I was fascinated by this and ended up delving deep into Lytton's writing, in particular his overworked and flowery writing style which in later years coined the unflattering term 'purple prose'. In his day he outsold Dickens but has since become known as somewhat of a literary joke. Lytton also left the world with three infamous sentences;
"The pen is mightier than the sword", "The great unwashed" & "It was a dark and stormy night".The show consisted of 46 black and white prints, a performance video, sculpture, a hand-drawn laser animation and 3 youtube playlists.
The prints I created by digitally reworking every artwork in the Museum's collection that had some form of supernatural element. They were individually coupled with a line of prose taken from a ghost story written by myself and Edward Wakefield using the language and vocabulary of Bulwer-Lytton's short story The House and the Brain.
The sculptures; a 7-meter tall wooden structure and an elevated child's bed are both inspired by scenes in Bulwer-Lyttons novel Paul Clifford, which begins with that often mocked and parodied phrase 'It was a dark and stormy night...'
The laser animations were reminiscent of a child cowering in the corner, another character from a Lytton short story, which morphed into the infamous concentric circles of the Twilight Zone.
The videos in the space consisted of documentation of an impromptu performance/reading of our own ghost story delivered from beneath a blanket using a voice modulator and a youtube playlist which I had been gathering for over a year of paranormal sightings, poltergeist, divine interventions, and demonic possession.
Venue: New Art Gallery WalsallWriting & performance collaboration: Edward Wakefield