Ostensibly Pavilion gives the impression of architectural form rather than sculptural. In Hartley’s sculpture and wall works there is often an abiding interest in architecture. Pavilion is reminiscent of a large-scale light box, in which interior constructions and photographic panels give the illusion of rooms, steps, corridors and structures. Certain structural elements such as, the overhanging canopy and stone forecourt reinforce the idea that Pavilion is a piece of architecture rather than art. However, the impractical lack of entrance to this structure places it firmly within a conceptual and sculptural trajectory.
The diverse environmental light that pierces through this form also has an effect on our perception of Pavilion. At sunny intervals, the interior is clearly defined and on dull overcast days its interior space is barely visible. Hartley on Pavilion suggests “I’d like viewers to feel themselves pulled towards it, and find that the views inside Pavilion look more real than the urban space surrounding it”. In an outdoor landscape setting Pavilion has a strong and confident presence, which strangely juxtaposes and harmonises with its surroundings.
Pavilion was made as a result of Alex Hartley winning the ART2000 Commission Prize, launched in conjunction with the London Contemporary Art Fair and sponsored by Cass Sculpture Foundation. This commission was shown originally outside the entrance to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London in January 2000.