Recent graduates of Ilam School of Fine Arts, both Hood and Lawrence are involved in the Christchurch arts community and have been developing strong individual and collaborative practices. Working together on previous projects at the High Street Project (Chch) and Enjoy Public Art Gallery (Wgtn), the pair have produced large temporary sculptures carefully constructed from cardboard and packing tape visually referring to both the hi-tech languages of virtual worlds and the amateur model-maker. Through their large sprawling sculptures, Hood and Lawrence have created fantasy landscapes containing elements of narrative.
Their Physics Room project is an extension of the artists’ collaborative practice and interest in narrative, with the addition of computer aided video pieces and further functional sculptural elements exploring the neurosis of the modern-day office worker. Creating a cliché office environment within the gallery, Hood and Lawrence have significantly altered the gallery architecture and thereby the viewers expectations and experience of the space. It also references the history of the Physics Room building itself - which until recent years was a major Christchurch post office.
Giving just enough detail to hint at a narrative and an implied yet absent protagonist, this installation allows the viewer’s imagination to fill in the gaps as though reading a ‘pick a path’ novel. Triggering our preconceived notions of office hierarchy and social status, the artists explore workplace paranoia and anxious boredom. Yet through the paper dart text and a movie looped on the desktop monitor, there is also a hint of escapism and of life beyond the office.
Reviews, Essays & Articles
The Press, 2003 Jan. 22, p. C2
Recent graduates, Robert Hood and Simon Lawrence, exhibition: Through my repeated attempts, I have developed pneumonia. Kathleen Peacock exhibition: Mouth to mouth : a phonetic attraction. Last of the Hardsell!! series.
‘A galling recipe for social control. Possibly’
The Listener, 1 March, 2003, p.61
The Package, January, 2003
Wood, Andrew Paul.
Through my repeated attempts to repair the window, I have developed pneumonia
The Physics Room Annual, 2003
The Soda Squirrel.