Chute, a series of previously unexhibited works by London- based artist, Olivia Bax (Singapore, 1988, lives and works in London). This new body of sculptural work was made specifically for the exhibition at RIBOT and exemplifies Bax’s sculptural exploration of spaces within spaces.
Sculptures are suspended from the ceiling, hung on the gallery walls or placed on the floor. They appear both domestic yet alien, a dichotomy echoed by the materials themselves which appear simultaneously solid yet fragile.
Minimal and slender lines meet concave forms which allude to pockets or containers. Each sculpture plays with a careful balance between full and empty. The viewer is invited to inspect more closely, leading the eye from one space to another, one cavity to the next. The work appears heavy but in reality it is unexpectedly light. This continuous shift between opposing notions is evoked by the show’s title, Chute, with its various meanings, including slide, slipping, parachute or harness.
The artist says that her work derives from pencil sketches which are made in the moment, without a clear plan. The sketching continues in three dimensions as she produces armatures made of steel bar. Areas are then closed off and rendered with a coloured paper pulp. Bax aims to make sculptures in the same loose spirit as sketching. Her material choices speak of the work’s history: their texture reveals the way in which the material has been applied. Practical concerns appear evident with the process exposed and all functional parts displayed unequivocally as the sculpture clings to the wall or stands proudly on the floor.
All these characteristics of Bax’s work are marked in the Special project that she has created. The eight small trophies called Momento are all different. Some are made from pewter alone, others are mixed with a blue paper pulp. The melting of the alloy, the dripping that takes place when it is released from the shell, and the successive solidification, once again allude to the idea of slippage. As the material changes, it takes on new and unrecognisable forms.