Towner in Eastbourne has commissioned Japanese artist, Chiharu Shiota to create a monumental signature ‘thread’ installations for her first solo show in a public gallery in the UK.
Shiota’s large-scale installation will consume Towner’s upper gallery, presenting a façade of five wooden doors caught in a dense dark tangle of thousands of metres of black yarn extending from wall to wall, and from ceiling to floor. Two of the doors lead into the huge otherworldly cocoon, connected by a labyrinthine passage dimly illuminated by bare light bulbs. Immersive, disorientating and contemplative, Other Side slows and disrupts navigation through and around it.
Upon entering the space you will encounter a series of five doors, which represent a gateway to a dense other-worldly labyrinth woven from black yarn. Woollen cocoons arise from the artist’s desire to ‘draw in the air’ and represent her own physical anxieties. Walking around and inside the work, you will become immersed in the installation, navigating the space between the doors, the light and the maze of yarn.
In a work that has taken almost three years to develop, Shiota describes her Towner installation as “a thread installation with doors”, saying “The doors are doors that used to be in Berlin apartments. I’m sure they could tell a lot of stories. Doors also open and close, just as people enter our lives and leave them again. All these elements manifest themselves in memories.“
Other Side represents a new development in Shiota’s work, combining the ephemeral and the delicate with the more structural architectural elements of her practice. In previous large-scale projects she has encased shoes, giant dresses, books, beds, steps, a baby grand piano and stool, and sometimes even herself, in the weblike constructions. She uses the black yarn as a kind of media, fulfilling a desire to ‘draw in the air’ physical anxieties she has experienced; relationships between past and present, living and dying, memory and oblivion, dreaming and sleeping. Shiota has exhibited internationally and previous UK works include the group shows Walking in My Mindat the Hayward Gallery in 2009, and in Lost in Lace at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 2011.
Chiharu Shiota | Other Side
Thursday 10 October | 6:30 – 8:30pm
Towner, Eastbourne | Devonshire Park, College Rd | East Sussex, BN21 4JJ