Plans for the Royal Albert Hall Project
As part of the Dialogue Box series
The second exhibition of the Dialogue Box series has been and gone, but for just over a week in July Alison Ballance’s piece ‘Plans for the Royal Albert Hall Project’ came to a close in the window space of the AirSpace Gallery. The striking window piece brought a red flash of art to the streets of Stoke on Trent, catching the eyes of passers by and drawing them in.
‘The piece in Dialogue Box is the last piece for Plans for the Royal Albert Hall Project which has been worked on, on and off, for several years. This project would involve inflating a hot air balloon inside the main auditorium of the hall. The hall’s eccentric and rotund shape turns it into a belly-like vessel. The hot air balloon would fill up inside the hall, silently pushing up against the building’s internal skeleton. During this time the project has gone from a formal, site specific installation, a surreal never-to-be-realised proposal, a romantic tribute, a collaborative piece with emphasis on the architectural structures; an idea which was realised in many different forms but never made. In preparation for this, plans have been drawn, models made, installation experiments been carried out, and re-drafted architectural drawings. I had originally proposed to show all the work I had made for this project in the Dialogue Box space. However when it came to installing the work I felt that a site specific piece would be better suited to the space, and more appropriate for the project as it was going to be the last piece made.
In my other work various media is again used to present either projects or responses to the built up environment, preferring to represent the fragment and the suggestion rather than crude over explanation. The proposal, by only being a suggestion of what it could possibly be, is a fragment. I see the fragment in architectural ruins, failures or incompleteness; attention is drawn to what is missing. My work has a reductive grammar which suits my conflicting feelings of life’s limitations alongside its potential. My primary medium is collage whether this takes its form in site specific installations or time specific pieces that are held together momentarily in a photograph. I use found objects, drawing and cuttings in my work all arriving fully loaded with cultural references and I enjoy seeing the dialogue that arises within the piece. ‘