Amethyst

2008
Spray paint, Concrete, Metal
25 x 95 x 110 cm
Edition of 1

Amethyst is a work that derives from Ricketts' interest in urban planning, and specifically its failures, especially when introduced into real social spaces. The sign, a common street sign, was commissioned from Croydon Council's road sign manufacturers, which Ricketts then spray-painted, using the same yellow paint councils use to create road markings, and added concrete feet. Amethyst's neglected appearance implies an unglamorous neighbourhood where such neglect could appear normal, banal. For Ricketts, titling the sculpture Amethyst provides a contradictory association with the gemstone to which it refers. A contradiction meant to call attention to the alchemical use of titling often employed by councils and city planners when naming less-desirable locations. On first glance Amethyst seems to continue the slippery tradition of the 'found object'. It has been purposefully constructed with this ambiguity in mind; it could have been "found" and simply appropriated as an art object, or "found" and altered in one way or another by the artist himself or by someone else, or it could have also been manufactured by a third-party, or produced entirely by the artist. In this case, a combination of the latter two methods were employed by Ricketts to produce Amethyst, resulting in an object which holds the potential to be further used or miss-used to other ends.

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About The Artist

Mike Rickett's work is concerned with spatial controversies, specific spaces and histories. He is interested in the gaps between the ways in which urban planners and developers design and regulate public spaces, and the complexity of actual social experience and urban life. He will often spend time researching specific locations in order to collate stories and narratives associated with these sites and accounts of these locations. He then activates these sites through his own participation, by asking questions and making propositions and so this process is structurally inter-relational, involving a diverse range of participants that has in the past included: city planners, developers, inmates, governors, activists and politicians. These interactions are then often presented as texts, posters, sculptural documents or events.

Mike Ricketts

Born: 1971

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