Friday, September 23, 2011

Incidents in Time - Jason Waterhouse

Incidents in Time is a series of works by Jason Waterhouse, depicting what at first glance appear to be banal representations of everyday settings, but upon closer inspection offer insight into intimate and strange moments.
Recently I had a chat to Jason about his latest installation for the City of Ballarat. Nestled in the walkway of Time Lane, twelve artworks speak of the Artist’s interest in poetic moments, strange occurrences and the architectural nature of the site itself.

Did this commission have a brief and how did that affect the direction you took?
The lack of specific brief or theme was quite daunting in a way.  It felt like a lot of rope …
I was given the site of Time Lane, and asked to submit a proposal for a public work, and that was it. 
The Lane is narrow with pedestrian-only access, so a large placed work was out.  There were the two obvious choices of suspended or wall works, but I was more interested in the character of the lane and its ‘incidental architecture’, as in broken bricks, disused pipes and holes. From this place I decided to propose a dozen small-scale sculptures that nestled into the walls and responded to the character of the space and its marks of time. 
The small works are for me like sculptural drawings depicting slightly strange moments and happenings.  The sort of stuff that is almost probable, a bit poetic, or a moment where you would say, “if only I had a camera … ”

Miner's Cottage
How did the commission being ‘site-specific’ affect the creation of this work?
While the commission was for a designated site (Time Lane), the commission did not specify that the work was to respond to the site, that was my choice. Things like scale and shape were directly influenced by the site, as the works needed to physically fit. Indirectly, a number of the stories told within works also relate to the urban/rural locality of Ballarat. I also like the idea of the discovery element to these works and their placement. They are not large tangible objects that one would expect of public art, which is a credit to the City of Ballarat for going there.
Silver Cloud Corp. #2
These pieces are quite surreal and whimsical renditions of relatively banal everyday buildings and sites. Can you talk a bit about what made you take that angle? 
I guess I’m interested in moments, both imagined and plausible. I was also very conscious of the audience and wanted to create works that would resonate with the passers by.  I am aware of the cutesy scale of the works, which I hope will bring an instant positive response and a smile. But if time is taken and the viewer reads the work, the subjects are quite dark observations and moments. I like this duality.

The Idyllic Getaway
These works are made of mild steel, Corten steel, and stainless steel and are permanent public works in Time Lane (off Bridge Mall), Ballarat.
See more of Jason's work on his website.
Words by Lucy James