Matthew Moehr Griffin
A Public Art Commission by Sam Jacob Studio
ABOUT THE COMMISSION
Delivered as an outdoor public art commission by Royal College of Art graduating curators and Sam Jacob Studio in collaboration with Wandsworth Council’s Pump House Gallery, Fragmented Follies builds on architect and designer Sam Jacob’s ongoing interest in architectural combinations and juxtapositions; specifically, those drawing on alternative reference points that seek to construct inventive opportunities.
At an urban level, SJS identified the park as a product of its urban context and assembled Fragmented Follies used as urban furniture directly from the design language of Battersea Park, reflecting on the park’s history and its continuously shifting contemporary urban context.
With collaboration and
participation being integral to the project’s partner organisation Pump House
Gallery, Fragmented Follies supports a shared philosophy to welcome everyone
in an encounter. For visitors to explore the variety of ways contemporary art can be made and experienced – an aim achieved over the course of the commission.
Using the traditional concept of a folly as a conduit for encounter, a structure with no ostensible or essential purpose, Sam Jacob abstracted shapes and other design elements captured in photographs taken by Year 9 students from Burntwood School, South London in and around Battersea Park. The designer conspired to create a commission with emphasis on co-design, a collaborative way of working integral to the designer and curators’ vision for the project.
These workshops saw the same students working hands-on with Jacob to assemble models, made up of shapes inspired by the images. These ‘building blocks’ became the reference point for the final design of the sculptural installation, reinforcing the designer’s ethos that ‘relationships can make things’.
Sam Jacob is the principal of London-based architect and design firm Sam Jacob Studio. His work spans scales and disciplines from urban strategy through to art, architecture and design of building, objects, spaces and exhibitions, both in the UK and internationally. Jacob is currently a professor of architecture at the University of Illinois in Chicago and a visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong. The Studio has recently been awarded the opportunity to transform the Victoria & Albert Museum’s main entrance on Cromwell Road in South Kensington. This installation presents new work from Sam Jacob, extending his practice to explore architectural ideas through contemporary art.
Designer Sam Jacob of Sam Jacob Studio in conversation with Elinor Morgan, Senior Curator of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA)
A discussion on the context of the late Victorian park which is Battersea and the layered histories behind the green space and its situation or urban context. Senior Curator of MIMA, Elinor Morgan discusses architecture as a device to engage a wider audience and create accessibility among the constituents of urban space, whether a park or museum.
Sound Workshop with Artist Andrew Hart
An afternoon where families and park visitors were invited and volunteered to participate in a sound activity, conducted by RCA Painting MA graduating student Andrew Hart. Working on and among the sculptures, participants mirrored the creative journey of the follies, by recording the layered sounds encountered within Battersea Park. These sounds were recorded and combined across multiple recording devices including mobile phones in an orchestra of bespoke sound combinations.
Andrew Pierre Hart is a multi-disciplinary artist, graduating from the MA Painting department at the Royal College of Art in 2019. His practice explores the relationship between painting and sound in a process of rhythmic research, which is often improvised and spontaneous. Using various mediums in addition to sound, such as video work, performance, language, photography and installation, and using found objects and images, Hart generates conversations around identity, space and experience.
S&Q ART UK is an art consultancy operating within the space of the UK-China art community in both countries. In 2019, S&Q aims to organise exhibitions and cultural events in London in cooperation with Chinese and British state institutions to provide more exchange and learning opportunities for Chinese and British artists and students.
School of Arts & Humanities
MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2019
+44 (0)7368 206056
Matthew Moehr Griffin arrived in London to attend Royal College of Art and augment leadership skills he had previously acquired while working in his administrative role as gallery manager of David Castillo Gallery. Before his involvement with white-cube art gallery presentations, he previously involved himself in an undergraduate curriculum at Florida International University with a specific concentration in contemporary art practice and the history of photography, including Chinese contemporary art, contemporary painting, and the moving image, where he graduated summa cum laude.
He was invited to contribute his longstanding sales experience to the inaugural No Commission art fair collective held during Miami's Art Basel 2015 edition, established by the Dean Collection; a signature moment in his career which allowed for the placement of two Kehinde Wiley portrait paintings with a private collector.
Particular areas of interest in addition to artist management and gallery production also incorporate the interrelationship between art and architecture in a time where architectural practice has expanded beyond the built object and artists are exploring the world beyond the traditional gallery environment.
- BA Art, Florida International University, 2015
- Art dealer, The Dean Collection: No Commission Art Fair, Miami Art Basel, 2015; Gallery manager, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, 2015; Gallery assistant, David Castillo Gallery, Miami 2014–15
- 'The Dean Collection: No Commission', Art Basel, Miami, 2015; 'Robert Melee: ITS LAST MOVE', David Castillo Gallery, Miami, 2015; 'VERSUS', Wynwood Miami, 2015; 'DCG Summer Show', David Castillo Gallery, Miami, 2015; 'Lyle Ashton Harris: Ektachrome Archive 1986-96: Part I – Recovering Identity and Desire', Miami, 2015; 'Wendy White: 12th Man', David Castillo Gallery, Miami, 2015; 'Jose Lerma: Guaynabichean Odyssey', David Castillo Gallery, Miami, 2014