The work of Rotterdam-based artist Edward Clydesdale Thomson is concerned with the places and objects on the margins of outside and inside, of wild and tamed landscapes. His sculptural works may resembled gates, fences, or topiary frames for taming decorative trees. In ‘The Distracted Gardener’ (2013) the common washing line is claimed as just such a site of transition, marking a place where sanitised domestic life is brought into contact with the natural world. Here the line is a rope tied from decorative fabrics designed for Finnish design company Marimekko. The fabrics also perform a transition from exterior/interior : in print the wild landscape is domesticated and comes to represent a certain lifestyle choice.
The steel props of ‘The Distracted Gardener’ use a spatial language of intersecting soft curves and sharp lines which explicitly references the topiary garden designed by the Scottish architect Robert Lorimer in 1897. For Thomson, Lorimer’s topiary represents the enduring capacity of a garden, at the end of the 19th Century, to be at the avant-guard of contemporary style Thomson’s interest in landscape is by no means tame; in his book As if an entrance is over there – he paraphrases Ann Bermingham to describe landscape as ‘an active battlefield where ideologies are trained, tested, framed and destroyed’. Perhaps by embodying this principle in his work Thomson proposes that contemporary art can be understood in the same terms – as signifying the capacity of individuals to interfere with the world around them.
text, Thomas Cuckle of Kunstraum
Download Late Nights & Early Mornings in PDF.