JACK KAY: MEMORIAL PROJECT

Posted by Jack Kay - December 2019

 

As part of my internship, I was given the opportunity to develop new work under the mentorship of Circus Artspace.  This new work had the initial intention of being a solo effort, but has now developed to be a collaboration between myself and Wasps tenant and glass artist Catherine Carr, with the potential to include more artists. 

The original idea behind the project was inspired by the work of Christo and Jean-Claude, and would involve covering or “deleting” the war memorials and large statues dotted around Inverness city centre.

Image: 'Egypt Hell' by Jack Kay, 2019

The concept behind this was to protest against the lack of modern public contemporary art in Inverness.  Instead of supporting talented local artists and/or submitting international open calls for work that would make the city a more modern and vibrant place to work, live in and visit, more war memorials are installed that are not keeping up with new, modern or emotional designs that can be found around the globe.  Prime examples are the multitude of dynamic and poignant memorials found in Russia, or the symbolic concrete structures created by Rachel Whiteread.

Another point of protest is the lack of care given to the statues and memorials; whether it’s a lack of money or concern, it does not reflect well on the image of Inverness. 

Now the project has developed to envelop the memorials with work that is projected through light. This prevents damage to the statues as a blanket or tarpaulin could snag and make removal difficult, as well as not requiring permission from those responsible for the statues to produce work around them. 

The concept has also evolved. The work that will be produced and projected will depict the horrors that soldiers in the First and Second World Wars experienced both physically and psychologically. This is what I believe the military memorials in Inverness fail to depict, instead focusing on sacrifice and pride from a public point of view.  The work will also represent the reality that war and the negatives associated are not only universal, but have continued beyond the First and Second World War; through the Cold War, Falklands, Gulf War and Iraq etc. 

Circus are delighted that during his internship Jack was awarded Best in Show at the FAKE Art Festival 2019 - an artist-led online magazine. Read Jack's full interview here.