Andrew Ranville: There & Here
- Neil Cooper
- 6 August 2009
Return to nature with the Australian artist’s two-location eco playground
Talking to the trees, or even taking things a base further and hugging them, may not be Andrew Ranville’s prime motivation in his eco-friendly reconstitution of natural fibres, which is on show, significantly, at either end of Leith Walk. But in his two-location exhibition, which brings to mind an adventure playground in Eden, the London-based American is attempting to whisper a language that’s both different and nostalgically familiar.
In ten pieces appositely captured in the Corn Exchange’s Colgate-bright interior, Ranville offers up a vintage skateboard and assorted ramps, a hang-down construction resembling a leftover from a boat-builder’s yard, and a portable footbridge that could have been culled from the same ACME store that sells portable holes to Looney Tunes’ cartoon hunters.
Ranville constructs his idyll even more in ‘Future Island’, a tilted square of turf in which a weeping willow is planted, attached to an anchor that will one day perhaps lodge itself in a garden called home. ‘Future Installation’ plants three firs side-by-side on the Corn Exchange’s window-sill resembling some sci-fi future-past in a scene from Douglas Trumbull’s dewy-eyed early 1970s eco-space flick, Silent Running. The sense memories are even more evocative in the home movie footage of ‘Climb the tree to be taller than the tree’.
In the great outdoors of Gayfield Square Gardens, meanwhile, normally home to sun-worshippers ejected from the street’s friendly neighbourhood cop shop, the pigeons have grown fond of Ranville’s triangular turf-covered ramp that juts upwards from the earth close to the roadside. Next to the brutalist tram-site slag-heaps, it’s a far lusher intervention.
Corn Exchange Gallery, 561 7300, until 10 Sep (not Sun/Mon), free. Additional work in Gayfield Square Gardens.