Moon Under Water


Curated by Mark Mangion

15 January → 28 February 2009
Malta Contemporary Art, Marsa

Moon under water is a new project by British artist, Rupert Ackroyd, aiming to generate decorative devices themed to the locale. Using a sculptural practice, he sets out to create a mood with elements appropriated from the local area using a language derived from the techniques of chain retail outlets. At the heart of this project is a relationship with history; a study of tone creation where our fundamental relationship with history has changed.

The project begins with the premise of the possibility of an activity of sculpture. Rupert Ackroyd’s work is an object-led sculptural practice. It attempts to generate mood associated with the contemporary world. It sees objects extracted from this world as a means of doing this. These objects are vestiges of the world and are repositioned into a sculptural-type language. This repositioning is seen as having the possibility of generating meaning different to that generated by the use of objects in a pragmatic documentary display style. Sculpture is used as a scenario for these objects to reinforce their original character and generate relationships between objects via structural devices.
The work is visceral in the sense that it's generated from a received tone from objects; objects become the equivalent of emotional prosthetics, physical embodiments of mental states. Proximity is another visceral aspect to the work in that effect is produced via contact or near-contact between objects as in any bodily negotiation of the world.
The artist often references chain food and beverage outlets as embodiments of a mood relevant to today. They have a unique type of atmosphere born out of highly rationalised business practices. Something uncanny happens when brand atmosphere is standardised and roll out to multiple locations, they are pervaded with a strange sense derived from pre-meditation. These spaces, because they form strong affiliations with consumers, are considered along the lines of public spaces. At a time when the public realm is in decline they become the public realm, a pseudo-public realm where people feel a shared sense of ownership. All derived from an ease thepublic develops with an abstract diffuse entity that is a brand.

Rupert Ackroyd (Lives and works in London) studied fine art at Winchester school of art and the Royal College of Art in London. Recent shows include "Group Residency" Camden Arts Centre, London 2004, "Supermanraycharlesbukowski" Duke Street, Liverpool 2005, "The Search for a Space" Valletta, Malta 2007, "Cabinet Particular" Russian Club Gallery, London 2008.