Steven Claydon: The Archipelago of Contented Peoples (2017)
In a layered response to Mount Stuart and the island of Bute, Steven Claydon drews from a variety of equivalences between the Pacific islands of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia, and the Scottish islands.
He brought objects and ideas from external contexts into an environment already laden with references to other places and times – multiple accretions which have become familiar and integral to the setting over the passage of time. Through a dual process of re-making and re-presenting altered artefacts, Claydon sparks the question of how far these objects ‘belong’ in a given setting, and how far their ‘otherness’ is accommodated. The process is characterised by an affectionate yet subversive humour – playing with perceptions of authenticity and expectations of materials.
Claydon’s exhibition took place in both the grounds and the house, introducing new sights and sensibilities to familiar environs – as well as less well known locations.
Mount Stuart worked in co-operation with The Common Guild (Glasgow) to bring Claydon’s work to Bute; in parallel with his exhibition The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups, which ran at The Common Guild until 9 July 2017.
Katrina Brown, Director of the Common Guild, contributed an essay for the accompanying book for this exhibition. Read it here.