Taking on themes of home and the quotidian, Felicity Hammond’s installation Show Room: The Language of Living, combines digitally manipulated images from property developers’ billboards and brochures with acrylic sculptures, taking the eerie two-dimensional faux-utopias and making them physical and warped.
The piece, another element to Brighton’s House Festival programme and co-commissioned with Photoworks, extends from the installation out onto the hoardings of nearby Circus Street. Felicity’s images are featured in little portholes, adding a surreal twist to things in the way the work goes full circle: images from idealised portrayals of new buildings find themselves on the hoardings that initially inspired them.
On show at the University of Brighton Galleries, Felicity’s work centres around these strange depictions of the home, tying her work succinctly with the wider House Festivals’ themes. “I’m interested in the changes in the urban landscapes, and in architectural renders,” she says. “When you look at marketing suites and the images on architectural visualisations there are always things like apples, oranges and plants – they look like still lives.” These “still life” elements form the disingenuous, Dali-esque drips within Felicity’s installation, appearing as shiny and artificial as the plastic fruits of an interiors showroom.
For her next project, Felicity will be turning part of the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall into “a pop-up marketing suite,” with performers acting as estate agents alongside photo-sculptural elements. Within the Brighton Uni installation, the performative element is ignited by the textures and the mimicry of the building’s fixtures and fittings. These sit alongside pastel colours and marble-like textures borrowed from luxury apartment marketing materials. At first, it looks luscious and innocent with its pinks, until you realise the concept behind it. Then, things suddenly become more sinister, as though the piece is warning us that everything is not as it seems.
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