David Marchant introduces his work for Art Across The City 2012

For this project I was interested in working with the public  in Swansea to create a social commentary and a visual conversation. I opted to do this on Wind Street late on a Saturday night with people who were at their most expressive and unconditioned state.

I installed an 8ft by 4ft chalkboard on Wind Street and invited people to draw their self portraits and write comments. The response was overwhelming and people were only to keen to interact with this work. I decided to use neon, which fitted into this bright vibrant heart of the party goer’s paradise.

For this specific piece, I wanted the initial appearance of the neon to create a literal, fun element within the work which was accessible to the masses. On closer refection I also wanted images that, for me, had underlying conceptual connotations depicting & darker side of society. This multi-layered work created using this medium envelops the social world of drink, drugs, sex, the grotesque and ridiculous.

The neon art pieces, extracted from the designs drawn on the night, will hang on trees where the initial public interaction took place. On it till you vomit, a title taken from the chalkboard has already caused controversy. The neon drawing will now hang with text omitted, the image portraying the grotesque.

The image of Dancing girl, was of particular interest to me as the drawing was created with no arms and no facial features apart from two dots for eyes. The figure, for me, portrays naivety and non-restraint. All night long, is a social hybrid, androgynous in its appearance it crosses sexual boundaries. Cowin’ lush, for me, was a stereotypical, plasticised party-goer, an image depicting societies need to keep up with appearances.

Working with Locws on this project has enabled me to work directly within the public realm and to produce a site specific art work, which is of its time. The public art that I have produced is ‘by the public for the public’, depicting the ‘here and now’ on Wind Street, Swansea.


This post first appeared on www.a-n.co.uk/artists_talking