The Tropics of London (2013)
(sketch for a textile pattern)
Ink on paper
60cm x 42cm
A palm tree levitating above (or plucked out from) a tiny ‘desert island’ has caught (also ‘uprooted’) one of the Raven Row atrium skylight’s in its canopy, suggesting that this tree is perhaps the palm that failed to arrive ready for the exhibition.
A distant mirage shows the city of London covered in palm trees with the possibility that climate change and accompanying sea level rises have created The Tropics of London. Fertility, growth and emasculation are suggested in this sketch for a textile pattern, inspired, in part by Anna Maria Garthwaite‘s childhood paper cut image of a garden where she made a tree’s foliage from feathers, inadvertently resembling a palm tree. Garthwaite, lived and worked in Spitalfields not far from Raven Row and was one of the leading textile designers of the day, renowned for her vivid floral designs used for hand woven silk.
The Tropics of London, is part of a series of works (including Desert Island , We are Sorry , The Quarantine Ship , Like This and Adaptation ) in Adam Chodzko’s major exhibition at Raven Row, London, We are Ready for Your Arrival , 2013, which unfolds as a series of events that arise from the apparent failure of a 60′ palm tree to arrive in time to be the central part of the exhibition.
The installation explores the materialisation, through objects, texts and images, of the processes of artistic creative production; its expectations, ambitions, coincidences, irrational leaps and failures. The manifestations of these experiences are then paralleled through their real and potential connections to environmental transformation and collapse.