Clare Fleming at the Blue Oyster
by Nick Duval-Smith
I saw this lovely installation by Clare Fleming at the Blue Oyster the other day. A number of these suitcase boats stand high in a room lit only by the tiny lights you see in the image here. They are caught on these long fine branches which are wrapped in soft fibre (recycled mover’s blankets). There is a very beautiful soundtrack (by Motoko Kikkawa and Susan Ellis) playing gently in the background which evoked for me a feeling of slowly dripping water, of mistiness and melting.
The boats seemed stuck to me, impaled even (call me a guy). The whole effect is one of arrested movement, entanglement even (I had to take care moving around the work, stepping over the electrical cords which had also been carefully wrapped).
This is one of clearest and simplest evocations I have seen of the tension between travel and home, the way we move and yet are held by our roots.
Photo credit: Emily Hlavac Green (my camera wouldn’t cope with the low light hand -held, so thanks Emily!)