Martin Boyce
‘An Inn For Phantoms Of The Outside And In’

Installation view 'An Inn For Phantoms Of The Outside And In', Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute
Galvanised steel, chainlink fencing, mixed aggregate gravel, painted perforated stainless steel, galvanised steel, painted galvanised steel, concrete, felled timber, lime wash emulsion, debris netting, cable ties, steel chain, stainless steel chain
800 x 3450 x 2130 cm

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Boyce presented a major outdoor commission in the landscaped grounds of Mount Stuart. Inspired by the memory of a tennis court long since dismantled, his ongoing interest in abandoned and disused spaces is awakened. The court is close to fiction, undocumented, a relic from the 1970’s. The artist reconsiders and recomposes the structure. Connecting with previous works such as the iconic 2002 Tramway installation Our Love is Like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours, Boyce continues his exploration of sites in between use and misuse, intention and subsequent being. His installation for Mount Stuart involves fragments of these landscapes, an abstracted sense of place rather than a literal description: “one place shipwrecked within another”.

“Over the years I’ve photographed a number of abandoned or disused tennis courts and I’ve collected similar images from books or cut from magazines. There is something fascinating about this rectangle of chain link fence that at once demarcates one place from another, one delineated use or activity from another. Equally fascinating is how over time this idea of use can shift, from organised tennis games to more improvised versions of play to, in a state of disrepair, a place to meet and hangout. It is this in between state that interests me. “

The installation, like a skewed container for dreams, sits with its gate open. The artist’s familiar iconographies are staged within, referencing his interests in twentieth century film noir, literature and the built environment. Boyce’s work mirrors the psyche; his work immerses the public in both personal and collective cultural memory.