The Task at Hand
October 9, 2008
Focusing on the design of scaffolding, Robertson’s drawings use scaffolding as a stencil to colour in the negative spaces the scaffolding creates. The larger photos feature images of scaffolding with the building painted out, making the scaffolding stand apart.
Robertson was initially drawn to scaffolding after noticing it during his day job comes as a landscaper/gardener. Constantly in residential neighburhoods with homes being renovated he’d watch week to week as the scaffolding was put up, manipulated and torn down.
Of course, until this show Robertson had never actually worked with scaffolding. But one night while working in his studio a friend’s boyfriend dropped by who happened to be a carpenter. He took one look at what Robertson was up to and asked, “What are you up to here?”
“We ended up being able to have a nice conversation about the practicality and the rules that go into building this stuff. I didn’t know how deep it ran. He was able to look at the structures I was working with and single out why this diagonal ran this way and what this was supporting.”
To help retain the essence of the scaffolding structures he was drawn to in the first place, Robertson scrapped his pre-designed ideas for his scaffolding. Along with the carpenter they built the scaffolding in the gallery in mind of the space that it was in, and through the lens of a real carpenters eye for functionality.
I hope the experience didn’t scar him like scaffolding did to me.
The Task at Hand will be on display from Thu October 9 – Sun November 2 at Vancouver’s Jeffrey Boone Gallery.
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