Alex Chinneck: Fighting Fire With Ice Cream
A great space for reflection in the middle of an eclectic Sunday afternoon at Hackney Wicked festival
Chinneck's eye catching sculpture "Self Employed" draws you in. It's so beautifully made, and in a slightly Escher kind of way, you have to stop and pause to understand what's going on: a C-shaped brick chimney pumping breaths of dry ice into itself. It's not an emotive piece in any way, but made with such craftsmanship that maybe it would equally have a home in the shop window of the Crafts Council (it does have a passing resemblance to the logo). Or maybe, even better, in a forest, in the vein of an Andy Goldsworthy.
But it's from industrial environments that Chinneck takes his inspiration. "Fighting Fire with Ice Cream" is one of several large panels consisting of Oriental Stranded Board, where the artist has hand coloured individual chips of wood with wax crayon. These certainly amuse the eye, and deserve a much larger gallery space where the eye can start to play with this kind of 'pixellation'.
What I really loved, however, was "In Order of Appearance" - an innocuous wall that you're standing next to looking at something else. And in the periphery of vision, there's a moment you sense that bits of the wall are moving. Gently the breeze blocks move out and back again. Not hurting anyone, doing their own thing. Charming.