Totem: Spillage Exhibition by BA Fine Art XD Students

February 2018

Site: Window Galleries, Central Saint Martin's

Spillage exhibition was an interactive "spillage" of actions, objects, performances and events by BA Fine Art XD students at Central Saint Martins. The works on display aimed to break the boundary between the enclosed window space and the public space beyond the glass. 

Totem is a 2m x 2m painting (henna on calico) which acted as an action point for a performance given by the artist. During the performance five lines of compost were slowly placed by hand as if reaching out from the painting, starting on the floor of the display space, and then extending beyond the glass into the public space. The lines extended to roughly 2m before fading out so as to not obstruct the exit. Permission had been granted beforehand to extend the artwork into the public space. However, this had evidently not been communicated to the maintenance staff on shift as they promptly cleaned away the compost after a brief discussion. This action highlighted the social constructs of the privately owned space and brings up the question "who makes the rules?"

Symbology is universal. The combined painting and compost installation acting as a joined intervention attempted to breakdown multiple barriers. This included that between public and private, organic and artificial, individual and collective, internal and external.