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.
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.
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.