Calendar is a solo exhibition that furthered Wilson’s exploration of private and public meanings in relation to material culture. Confronting and debating several questions through the development of the enquiry through the use of the traditionally introspective form of the single artist exhibition. This exhibition deliberately turned an exhibition visit into a studio visit in a neat reversal of the usual order of events.
Wilson poses the questions ‘Can staging within the public gallery a porous architecture of the private ‘artist’s studio’ help reveal our myriad understandings of everyday material culture, and might such an encounter lead us to question the special status afforded the artwork? By experiencing/performing being both inside and outside of the quotidian creative space (the studio) within the familiar form and site of the exhibition (the gallery) can we become more critically aware of the many constructions that frame and form our wider habits of cultural consumption?’
The resulting exhibition Calendar offered visitors an architectural outline of the artist’s studio comprising an entire calendar year of bolted-together single-day units built into offset three-month slabs as walls. Built of galvanised steel cubes and blackboard baseboards, the constituent materials brought with them both atavistic (agrarian) and aspirational (academic) references in the building of this imagined world of the artist/creator. The structure was populated with small studio works; daily thoughts filling an everlasting advent calendar, with the first and last days of the year sharing a single cube and completing an annual loop. Frames of reference shifted between the found, the made, the given, and the stolen, as art history was forced into many and various juxtapositions, while the visitor was freely invited to stand both outside of and in the place of the artist. This exhibition was funded by and premiered at the MAC, Belfast, in 2016.
This collection of images displays the outputs from this project. Find out more details in the full case study below.
Mixing component elements gifted by members of the public alongside small studio works and items from the artist’s own life, Wilson produces a field of enquiry developed in the studio that is readily transposed to the space of exhibition.