In Straitened Times - a site specific work for the show: One That Holds Everything, in St Pancras Church Crypt, Euston Rd.
The building is a classical revival style church famous for its north and south porches with caryatids modelled on the Eryctheion -part of the Acropolis, Athens.
Prior to making the piece I had visited Athens for the Documenta art fair. In 2017 Greece was in the midst of a debt crisis with public services cut back due to fiscal restrains imposed by the European Central Bank. I was shocked by the poverty and neglect in the city. Many unemployed middle class residents had taken to begging and busking in the street, so dire was the economic situation.
My piece was an abstracted depiction of a caryatid. The caryatid is a symbolic motif - a handmaid subservient to the dead King. She would make offerings on his behalf in the temple dedicated to him. Architecturally, the caryatid performs the function of a column in Greek classical temples.
My 'column' was suspended in mid air - no longer supporting the roof of the building: an empty, useless symbol. It was constructed from many metres of limp fabric - with steel rings as support. At its foot was a small offering/begging bowl. The piece also related to that of a performance work by another artist in the show: Antonis Sideras, who supplied one of the photos below.