Eliza BattleBy Jan van Schaik
Found Objects, Reconfigured lego
Dimensions: 24.5cm (H) x 19cm (W) x 12.9cm (D) / 9.6" (H) x 7.5" (W) x 5.1" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
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This work is part of a series titled Lost Tablets which express a tension between a universally recognisable children’s toy and the grammar of architectural symbols. The works are memorials to the stories of real and fictional ships found crew-less and adrift at sea.
Eliza Battle is named after a steamboat that ran the Mississippi river route in the United States during the 1850’s. The steamboat and 33 people were destroyed in a disastrous fire that has since been immortalised in local folklore as a burning ghost ship called “The Phantom Steamboat of the Tombigbee”.
The work is composed of blocks of found Lego which bear the marks left on them by their former owners. Discolouration, writing, dirt, glue, and even teeth marks are evident on the found blocks and romantically embraced in the new object.
The architecture of her sheer face is bound by the tension between the new profile of the tablet, and the varying surface qualities of the found blocks, each with the markings of its own history.
The shapes of the dynamic face are bound together by the tension between the expectation of what a Lego composition would usually prescribe, and the language of an imagined collective architectural unconscious rendering in memory of the ghost ship she mourns.
The strange resonant familiarity of the tablets are designed to oscillate between the platonic, almost primal, recognisability of Lego, and the deeply known, but less frequently described, architectural grammar of the built world.
Each of the works in the series has the same overall dimension and ships with a 25cm diameter round white powder-coated base on which they are magnetically fixed.
Based in: Melbourne
BArch. PhD. AIA. ARBV. Registered Architect in Victoria.
Based in Melbourne Australia, Jan van Schaik is an architect at MvS Architects, a researcher and senior lecturer at RMIT Architecture & Urban Design, the founder and convener of WRITING & CONCEPTS, the designer of Lost Tablets, and a creative sector consultant at …
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