Time for Dali, a Modern take on the Surrealist master, is a submission put forward to Open Culture for the May 2017 Light Night to be held in Liverpool city centre.
Time for Dali
A modern take on the Surrealist Master
Dali was born in 1904, twelve years before the Liver Building featuring the largest clock face in the Uk at 7.6 meters in diameter was completed. The year Dali passed away was 1989, this was the year of the Hillsborough disaster, the human crush at the semi-final game where 96 Liverpool supporters were to loose their lives. This proposal will take a modern take on the surrealist master, bringing his spirit to the city of Liverpool.
With his characteristic beard, turning up at the corners Dali is one of the most celebrated artists of all time. Growing up in Catalan, born to parents who supported his creativity greatly. In the style of all great artists, he was expelled from Art school in Madrid after declaring his tutors unfit to judge his artwork. In moving to Paris he was first exposed to Surrealism which was the future direction of his creative practice. His first solo exhibition in Madrid was to lead to his work being showcased throughout the world. Dali was to meet Sigmund Freud in the 1930’s which was to greatly influence his work. In fleeing Europe during World War two he re-located to New York. In this, he teamed up with Alfred Hitchcock to create a dream like sequences for Spellbound, later being hired by Walt Disney to create art and storyboards for the film Destino. In returning to Catalan he continued to create Art from alternative perspectives. Being confined to a wheel chair for the last four years of his life he was to die in 1984. Dali’ work continues to be exhibited internationally at World class Arts venues.
Dali painted melting watches in the ‘Persistence of Memory’ to represent how things, even time, are destructible. This is one of his most recognised works, the melting watch faces set within the Catalan landscape. The Painting is an example of his theories around ‘Softness’ and ‘Hardness’ central to his work during this period. There is possibly an abstract figure central to the piece, the ants on the orange clock face look to introduce the concept of decay. We have an exploration of the dreams which occur between waking and consciousness.
In ‘Time for Dali’ we are looking to celebrate this great artist by creating a surrealist landscape with the exterior environment of a Liverpool arts venue. The image represented is from the viewing platform of Central Library. The clock faces are to be melted in the way Dali presented the timepieces, however, we are to take a contemporary approach to the artwork. The forms are to be made from polythene stuffed with shredded paper, an element of the paper is to be reflective. In a similar context, light reflective cut vinyl lettering to be used for the digits and clock hands. Clock faces to contain quote with reference to time from relevent philosophers: Sigmund Freud, Titus Carus, Hegal, in addition to statements Dali made throughout his life. Potential for a larger clock face to be suspended, although the structures look solid they are very light weight due to being made from paper and polythene. The polythene will ensure they are suitable for an external location for the period of the Light Night. Our original intention would be to create 10 clock faces around 1 meter in diameter, then one face of a larger scale. All paper mater idea to recycle after the event. Potential for lighting to be hired specifically for the event.
Rags Boutique was a six-week project to open a disused retail unit as an exhibition space and a workshop venue. Alison was successful in gaining funding from the Shops up Front scheme run by Liverpool City Council intended to support regeneration through the opening up of disused retail units as venues for Arts and other projects which are of benefit to the community. In this, the use of recycled materials was a primal concern of the project. Using newspaper, plastic bags and other readily available materials she created a fashion Boutique from entirely recycled materials. The Boutique was open to the public and visited by many from across the city and from further afield. The window display was key to the success of the project. In this, the windows were signed using cut vinyl in the style of the Boutique and the window displays were created in the style of the Boutique. The mannequin’ were clothed in newspaper creations which were sprayed with a combination of acrylics and water-based emulsions to created a male and female which were visually stunning. The window displays were fundamental to the success of the project, additional visitors to the exhibition through the interest generated by the showcase pieces.
Polythene and shredded Paper Forms
Since 2014 Alison has been using polythene and shredded paper to create artworks, the first of these being Bi Polar B for 2014 World Mental Health Day exhibition held at the Williamson Gallery in Birkenhead. ‘Bipolar B’ is a vision of a female sufferer of Bipolar, its prime concern is to address Hyper-sexuality in sufferers. This is shown by the pose of the Art form, the figure showed with her legs sprawled wide open, the figure exaggerated towards the groin area. The figure is created using Polythene sheeting and shredded paper. The use of red tones of shredded paper towards the groin area is intended to replicate the unpleasant nature of sexual intercourse with suffers of Bipolar. Words are printed to the shredded paper which highlight different elements of the illness looking at everything from illicit drugs to prescribed medication, manic depression to elation. There is an almost Chicken like quality to the piece, drawing annotations with the colloquialism ‘Chicken Fucker’. An unpleasant Art piece reflecting the unpleasant aspects of Bipolar.
Other artworks using the techniques were Brain scape for World Mental Health Day 2015, exhibited at Unit 52 in the Baltic Triangle, Liverpool. A larger scale commission was created for Spectrum D in Derby: Act against Hate crime she replicated the figures using polythene sheeting and shredded paper with printed terminology to create a large-scale installation. The installation consisted of a full size figure floor based and a broken wheel chair. The figure to be filled with statements about disability such as: impairment, unseen, exclusion from society, physical, mental, sensory and emotional. This was a very successful piece exhibited at the Guildhall theatre in Derby in October of 2015. Most recent works include ‘Life from the Waist Down’ which explores the recovery process from sexual violence, exhibited at Unit 51, Baltic Triangle for 2016 Mental Health week. The process was also used for a workshop aimed at exploring disability and ableism held for the BBC ‘Up for Arts’ program in November of 2016.