Fragmented Follies is an outdoor commission by Sam Jacob Studio. Curated by a group of emerging curators from the Royal College of Art, in partnership with Pump House Gallery, the artwork interrogates the role of the park in its urban context.
The sculptural installation presents new work from London-based Sam Jacob Studio, delivered in a series of intriguing assemblages. Drawing upon the layered architectural and cultural histories of Battersea Park and its neighbourhood, these objects will be produced from a combination of site-specific elements which reference the park’s past, such as its Victorian ironwork and the structures left behind from the 1951 Festival of Britain. Since the park opened in 1858 to provide clean air and a space for leisure-based activity for local inhabitants, it has witnessed multiple alterations, as a result of changes in the physical and socio-economic landscape of the area. Structures which were once functional, now act as follies, ornamental objects on view, rather than inviting interaction.
Sam Jacob Studio’s contemporary follies will become urban ‘furniture’, hinting at use, activating the site of the Pump House Gallery terrace and encouraging visitors to interact with them. Fragmented Follies invites viewers to think about the way they occupy and use the constructed space of the park, against the backdrop of Battersea’s shifting physical, social and economic environment.
Local secondary school students will be invited to engage in the creative process, working collaboratively with Sam Jacob Studio in a photographic workshop, to compile a sourcebook of visual references from within the park, using their images to then make models that will be used in the design of the sculptures. The installation is accompanied by a public programme which will be integral to the project, to include a cross-disciplinary talk with the artist and a family friendly activity.