My Empire of Dirt - Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool, 2009

My first solo show at Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool, bringing together a new sculptural work, alongside new poster works.

The exhibition was designed to work coherently as a whole, with the poster works informing the ideas being discussed though the sculpture, but also for the works to retain autonomy and be capable of existing alone. The central sculpture was my interpretation of a ‘shot-gun shack’; a traditional American farmers dwelling, so named as the rooms are all aligned, making it technically possible to fire a shotgun through the front door and out the backdoor without hitting anything. The piece worked like a sculptural triptych, with the three rooms referencing different spaces we/people inhabit; the first a shanty town structure made from locally scavenged materials, the second based on the exact dimensions of the holding cells at Guantanamo Bay and Camp X-Ray – architecturally engineered to promote depression and suicide in their inhabitants - and the third was the dimensions of an open grave, the deepest legally allowed to be dug in the UK.

The poster works were hand screen-printed on newsprint and pasted directly on the walls of the gallery, their treatment and aesthetic referencing political/protest posters. The subjects of the posters drew on a diverse range of reference including song lyrics, the 5 colour codes in place to alert the West of potential terrorist threat and urban mythology/misinformation. Viewers of the work were allowed to enter and pass through the sculptural structure.

To view the information about it on the CHG website, click HERE