The Darker Side


by Stella Harding

Pitzhanger Gallery Skylight Rotunda

John Soane was noted for his use of  light and space and simple pared down facades – an outward expression of Enlightenment values perhaps, an openess to new ideas and a desire to innovate?  Yet, when I visited  Pitzhanger Manor and the Soane Museum I was struck by the sense of enclosure, the complex interconecting spaces and the layering of different perspectives.

I felt that his interior spaces and his diverse collections of fragmented natural forms expressed his Other side.  For me they allowed for expression of a darker side.

Jewel Trap, photo by Sylvain Deleu Images

My basketry structure  for the gallery space will be large, light and expressive;  a star burst of energy and outward movement – a reflection and refraction of the star patterns in the skylight/rotunda.

But basketry has its darker side – used in times past to trap and kill, cage and constrain.  The site reponsive pieces in the Manor house will explore the containment of things – be they precious keep-sakes, hidden emotions or fragments from the past.

Jewel Trap Detail, photo by Sylvain Deleu Images


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