Reading: Different Scales

One of the other things we noticed whilst travelling around Reading: An Open Gallery, was that many works we encountered caused us to investigate the scale of either ourselves or the exhibit we were experiencing.

Take, for instance, the chairs positioned on the pavement outside the Autistic Shop. In this shot they are obscured behind the knees of the man passing by on the left.

Tiny Office Chairs, installation piece, found materials, the Autistic Shop, Reading, artist unknown.

On their own the chairs maybe don’t appear to be so small, but as soon as Mark sat on one of them, we began to ask ourselves questions about the scale of things. Are we too big for the chairs, or are the chairs too small for us? Who actually uses the chairs? At which age group of human beings are they aimed? Apparently office-like in design, in scale they recall the chairs in use at primary school. The experience of encountering such diminuitive ‘adult’ furniture made us begin to feel that perhaps the world was shrinking around us.

Perhaps we are giants?

Our sense of our size in the world was further challenged by some this tiny knitting, discovered in Fanny’s Antiques, another installation taking the familiar shop form in its design and configuration.

Tiny Knitting Basket, thread, basket, nails, glue, plastic flowers, fabric scraps, found materials, sculpture, artist unknown.

This whimsical work evoked for me the sense of being able to access a tinier, and somehow younger, aspect of myself. It was the only artwork I actually bought during Reading: An Open Gallery as it was the only work of art which had to be purchased in order to be experienced. You see, this is a site-specific work intended to be encountered inside a pocket.

The lines on the background behind the basket are the lines on my notebook as I scribbled about all the Art to be seen around this city. So you see the knitting really is tiny, or maybe in the process of exploring Reading: An Open Gallery, we grew bigger?

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