Alex Rennie CV
My recent work is an interpretation of the environment I pass through every day. I am interested in ideas of growth, change and transition in the city.
I began by looking at old, new and progressing architecture existing side by side but I soon started focusing on the hoardings that form the barriers between them. I made a series of large paintings of hoardings at the ‘Shard’ building site at London Bridge with the intention of recreating a physical partition that when taken out of its environment becomes a permanent version of a temporary object that represents a moment of change. I have included different elements that appear on the hoardings; fluorescent red lights, aspirational images of the city, the dust and mud generated by the toil behind, rainwater, reflections, wear and graffiti. Under each one is a painted red and white construction timber, ubiquitous at building sites across the country, these have become the basis of my latest project.
Assembled as walls, helixes and balancing stacks, my wood paintings are varying compositions of construction timbers also used to symbolise growth and change. Each length of wood in the Stack paintings corresponds to the city’s population over a certain duration. Some timbers contain found graffiti and scrawls, particularly initials and hearts multiplied over and over to symbolise individual lives, their passing and union. The timbers are sometimes burning and charred to describe energy expended or consumed by the population who will ultimately return to the basic carbon building blocks which will form the next precarious layer. Like the infinitely repeated hearts and initials these ideas include a slightly existential feel. Sometimes splintered, carved or burnt, cracks and ruptures in the wood often form past, present or expanding maps of the city.
Statement by the artist, 2012