TURNER prize winner Martin Boyce has been commissioned to create an installation outside Tate Britain which was unveiled today. Situated between the Clore Gallery (which holds JMW Turner’s paintings) and the Clore Centre, the work consists of a newly paved terrace onto which the words Remembered Skies have been spelt out in illuminated letters.
Letters have been a crucial part of Boyce’s work since 2005, the foundation of his work began simply from the shape of four geometrical concrete trees created by modernist sculptors Jan and Joe Martel. This paved way for his prize-winning installation Do Words Have Voices in 2011. Boyce envisioned repeat patterns emerging from the constructivist trees which then developed into an intricate graphic alphabet, emerging as his own visual language through a palette of shapes and forms.
For the Tate Britain installation, Boyce has further developed a fractured repetitive pattern spread across a custom cast concrete pavement and scattered with illuminated letters. Sporadically placed- the cluster of shapes deliberately slow down the act of reading, requiring the viewer to piece together the phrase Remembered Skies by walking across the work and seeing it from different angles.
Speaking about the development of the new commission, Martin Boyce explained, “The phrase Remembered Skies came about through Turner’s paintings. While watching a documentary on Turner the question of composition was raised and how Turner would at times construct his compositions by moving mountains, repositioning trees and the framing of buildings. For his skies, the constant changing conditions of clouds and light would necessitate a composite of the seen, imagined and remembered.”
by Faye Leung
Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG