Sky Arts Ignition: Memory Palace
18 June – 20 October 2013
Sky Arts Ignition: Memory Palace brings together a new work of fiction by the author Hari Kunzru with 20 original commissions from leading graphic designers, illustrators and typographers to create a multidimensional story. The way we read books is changing. Memory Palace explores how a story might be imagined in a different format – as a walk-in book.
Each of the designers and illustrators worked on a different passage of text from the story, responding freely to the text.
In this video Frank Lawes talks about his process of creating a series of paintings that form an installation of the prisoner's cell.
My name's Frank Lawes, the piece I was commissioned for by the V&A was to represent the cell in which the main protagonist was kept inside throughout the story.
Within the cell I wanted to project his memories or his visions of London from the past. He sort of looks back on the past as being this great time where everything was perfect and we had everything right in our time, so that relates to my own personal artwork where I have ideals around council estates and buildings that were built in the sort of post- second world war where there was a lot of effort put in to social housing. So I sort of related his visions of the past to how i think about those buildings that were built in the sort of post war, 30s to 50s.
For me, a lot of my work is about sort of human presence and showing human activity without showing people, so within some of the paintings there’s little marks of graffitis which could be seen as a sort of other language from another person, making their mark on those buildings. But also the chair for me, obviously that represents quite a physical thing, and like a person being within the room, without showing the person, so it sort of gives it that added bit of mystery and atmosphere.
The scale of it really helps make it stand out, I think. Just the structure's quite striking. I think it brings a bit of intrigue and makes you want to go and look at what's inside, which is obviously the idea.