HOUSE, a citywide exhibition created in 2009 to bring visual art to the legendary Brighton Festival, is dedicated this year to the oft-overlooked beauty of the everyday — and no one would have been a better standard bearer for this theme than David Batchelor. Often involving neon and light boxes, the British artist's work draws equally on the legacy of Dan Flavin and the ready-made aesthetic of Haim Steinbach — the whole tinted by an undisguised fascination with the noxious palette of industrial materials.
HOUSE features Batchelor's largest solo show in the UK to date, and includes the light-bulb studded, eye popping new commission "Brighton Palermo Remix," presented alongside several works in Hove's Regency Town House. "I was looking at decorative street illumination in Brighton and elsewhere, such as Sicily," Batchelor told ARTINFO UK. "Eventually, over a couple of years, my different interests — color, light, everyday materials, the seaside, the building — came together in this work."
Several other artists have also been invited to create new pieces that will be dotted around Brighton for the duration of the festival. Tim Brown and Anna Deamer have translated Patrick Hamilton's novel "Hangover Square" into an installation based on two key moments of the book, which is to be presented at Brighton University. Phoenix Gallery will showcase Robin Blackledge's casts from plastic food packaging, while Deb Bowness will cover the city with her trompe-l'oeil wallpaper.
"HOUSE 2012 will resonate for many people: the theme of domesticity provokes us to think afresh about the everyday and commonplace; and the sitting [sic] of commissioned work in the streets and public spaces will reach new audiences both within and beyond the gallery walls," commented Sally Abbott, the regional director of Arts Council England South East, which contributed £90,000 toward the festival.
HOUSE 2012, May 5 – 27, 2012, across Brighton & Hove, Phoenix Brighton, Regency Town House, University of Brighton