Writings and Proposals

Proposals in development for an installation by Russell Mills

The location: a cathedral or abbey, possibly but not necessarily in a state of ruin within a rural or an urban landscape, or a large, redundant commercial or industrial building, ideally in dilapidated state.

Head #1

Set centrally within the main body of the building, a typical allotment garden shed, constructed from found, salvaged timbers, clad either in gold leaf, silver leaf or luminous paint with every internal surface covered in sand, as if it has seeped through the roof in a slow, continuous fall. Alluding to the actions and symbolic potential of the hourglass, the sand signifying time passing and/or an ending.

Head #2

A reconstruction of the interior of a typical English allotment shed. A chaotic assemblage, grubby, spider web-infested and densely packed with various rusting gardening tools, broken plant pots, dusty lemonade bottles holding petrol and meths, rolls of hairy string, an abandoned, orphaned work glove, boxes of nails and screws and twisted pieces of wire. Paraphernalia and incongruous objects banished from the house jostle for space amongst piles of old magazines, a chair with a broken leg awaiting repair and a dubious calendar. A much loved old valve radio, veiled in dust, adapted to ceaselessly search for a stable signal, gently hums and hisses through a collage of ever-changing frequencies. An instantly recognisable nostalgic melody transmutes into a shipping forecast or sheep mart, only to dissolve into an Eastern European monologue, which in its turn blurs into Norwegian pop music, etc., ad infinitum.

*Either in the middle of the table of Head #1 or in the disorganised mess on the workbench of Head #2 is a perfectly made miniature model of an object of great significance (historical,cultural, biological, ethical, etc.) - i.e. Sellafield or Fylingdales, a utopian city or a baby, a complex labyrinth or? The object, its possible meanings and its construction is to be confirmed, however it should be an iconic item of great resonance, mute yet charged with associative potential and power.

Shed for a head. Archetypal English retreat. Meditative space. Symbolic of a particular breed of independent, visionary, creative thinkers. Laboratory of the resourceful. Home to inventors and innovators who pursue ideals despite the state and industry’s lack of faith and / or financial backing. Symbols of hope, defiance and resilience. Humble and practical architecture in which dreams are dreamt and made real. Icons of sustainability. Marginal and maverick.










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