LOL (The sun always shines in the garden of temporary teen happiness)
The centre piece of this new body of work by Mat Kemp brings together his use of found objects, the environment, traditional materials and humour to make a statement about the developement of children into teenagers and young adults.
His interest in using toys as a material started on the way to the dump at Wandsworth with assorted boxes of items cleared out of his childrens bedrooms, a process that most parents go through in the struggle to create space and order.
On the verge of discarding these once treasured possessions he realized that as a parent he also had a strong attachment to them. Each toy brought back a memory, they were tactile memory files providing emotional flashbacks to that period when we are engrossed in our childs play.
They were taken to the studio five years ago, mixed with toys from his own childhood and donations from other parents, to become a constant creative source.
Lots of love, laugh out loud, however you interpret the text abbreviation, the piece deals with growth from the innocence of a childs ‘playtime’ where toys are strewn over the floor, to the delicate and challenging period where teenagers strive to discover new ways of entertaining themselves and inadvertently challenging each other and their parents.
Toy encrusted plinths emerge from the chaos of the playroom floor, on top of which sit weathered tree trunks salvaged from the Thames. These are capped with Meccano flowers and concrete into which are set spring mounted ceramic recepticles. These in turn hold used nitrous oxide (laughing gas) canister petals.
The canisters were found in local parks, bus stops, play grounds, under beds and in the gutters of SW London. The 30 second supposedly harmless legal high is easily obtained via the internet, just google ‘cream whipper’.
The garden is permanently looked over and illuminated by an oil drum ‘smiley face’ sun, representing the now almost constant use of mobile phones throughout this brief but potent period of ours and our childrens lives.
From the confusion of teen years young adults bloom.
17 June - 26 June 2015
Panter & Hall
11-12 Pall Mall
Monday to Friday
10.00 AM - 6.00 PM
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
CLOSED BANK HOLIDAYS