Old Fire Station Blog

News, happenings and goings on from the Old Fire Station, Oxford

Jack Eden’s ‘Axis’ at the Gallery at The Old Fire Station : A Spatial Investigation

An Investigation into this space, and therefore into all space.

Jack Eden’s exhibition here at the Old Fire Station gallery was a marvellous success. With the recent opening of the Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined show at London’s Royal Academy framing architectural works in provocatively sensory settings, there was never a better moment to venture to our gallery space and consider the ramifications of this stark, highly communicative work.

Eden’s piece divided the room, separating our attention into two axes, and as a result asked some pertinent, lasting questions about constructed spaces, and the way in which they are experienced. Writing for The Guardian, Rowan Moore suggests that architecture is not a visual art, as it is often called, but instead a functional field, with results that impact us on a social, personal and multi-sensory level. We do not simply see a building or a room; we come to inhabit it, responding to its smells, sounds, feeling, and light. Eden’s project restored to the audience an assessment of space in its dimensional terms. We went from simply entering a room, to becoming acutely aware of its height and width. But we were also acutely aware of the work itself, taking the form of two imposing wooden beam-like sculptures. They formed an axis unlike one found on graph paper, instead arrayed so as to be slightly separate, also inviting the viewer to consider the dimensions separately. Blending with this compulsive aim, the two structures were finished differently. Both were reminiscent, with their lack of glazing or paint, of construction at its most bare.

This only enhanced the effect of the installation. Importantly, Jack’s work was displayed in the gallery space, effectively creating art out of measurement, and imprinting something beyond the aesthetic. His work was shaped by the gallery, but its impact will also linger in this room, punctuating the space for the artists who subsequently display here. This is a clever and thought-provoking work, which responds to intellectual questions new and old, and it really is worth experiencing more of Jack’s work in any future environments it inhabits.

Jack Eden’s ‘Axis’ was displayed at the Gallery at The Old Fire Station until 15th February 2014.

Check back very soon for information on the next exhibition at the Old Fire Station.

The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-17:00.

Admission is free.

Blog post written by Samuel Stensland

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2014 by in Visual Art and tagged , , , .
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