I have this thing about shelves . My final degree show piece for graduation was a set of four shelving units built from mdf and hardboard in a semi enclosed exhibition space.
By the middle of the degree i'd become dissatisfied with painting and leaned more towards the conceptual side of things I saw the college as a space or environment to be manipulated or played with , as a material like any other . I put up very quickly made pieces from whatever was to hand and lurked around corners watching reactions seeing what worked and what didn't.
The college were not happy , and started to make noises about me not making 'ART' , finally I gave up on the aggro and started making more defined things , products if you will , which seemed to be the philosophy behind the tutors at the time .
The shelves were a semi lucid statement about several things , a memorial to a relationship which my alcoholism had destroyed ( which I to this day need to make amends for) , and the idea of putting things into categories , I'd been looking at a lot of text art ( it was the late eighties and early nineties after all ) so the text could be constructed into a story or it could be read in its original sections which stood on their own as individual statements ' A boy , a girl' , snippets of text which gave pictures , which amused me , a visual artist working with non visual means .
They seemed quite monolithic ( big fan of 2001 a space odyssey ) but also sad and memorial like . The small frames were painted in black blackboard paint with red letraset , the paint was a bastard to work with , had to be really careful to avoid fingerprints and smudges , the frames were kept sealed in bubble wrap until just before the degree moderators came round to assess the work .
The picture at the side is me the night of the degree show graduation party , having had a little to much fun . I'm grinning like a maniac because I was off planet and had Julian copes 'kolly kibbers birthday' played into my ears by one of my friends - I don't remember much of that night needless to say.