In the 19th century École des Beaux Arts in Paris students would often work on their designs in collaborative teams up to the last moment of the project, and the Charrette, now used as a byword for an architectural deadline, was at that time a real object, a wheeled wooden cart, which would carry away diagrams and section plans along physical routes. In this exhibition the Charrette takes on a physical form again, as a mobilising element among the diagrams and assemblages on the walls.
The work of Lorraine Fossi and Celia Scott is shaped by architectural discourse- both studied and practised architecture in a Modernist milieu before turning to painting. Both artists bring to bear concepts from that discourse- the section plan, the diagram, the upturned view – accompanied by a deep study of the relations between the diagram and reality. ‘Charrette’ addresses the residues of International Modernism as complicated by material sensitivities, memory, narrative and perceptual ambiguity.
Celia Scott compresses three dimensional space into a two dimensional surface in strange and unexpected ways. She uses drawing, painting, sanding and carving to achieve a language of forms which leaves missing links for the viewer’s eye to fill in. The forms in her work refer to assemblages and architectural spaces, whilst interior space also plays a role. The works are diagrams which are complicated by the vagaries of human perception and the intrusion of feeling.
Lorraine Fossi’s work travels from reality to abstraction, but it also constructs a continuous bridge between the two states. Structures and details in the world become abstracted into diagrams, which can then be instantiated in other materials and in other contexts. In these works, painting is a function, travelling from the architect’s cart to the wall, with space for the viewer to imagine moving, measuring, stepping back. The diagram is a free and open thing in her work- forms and functions travel, events and thoughts appear and reappear, space is created and deconstructed.