Lost at Sea
Plaster, iron dust, wire, wood, motor, steel, glass, LED bulb.
176 x 60 x 60 cm
A Certain Change, VITRINE, Basel.
‘A Certain Change’ was Sam Porritt’s first solo exhibition with the gallery in Basel where he exhibited a new series of works made with the space in mind and exploring ideas of limitlessness and directionality.
The centerpiece of the exhibition was be a sculpture of a lighthouse. Human in scale, the work turns in its entirety as it casts out a light, the moving beam of light falling on interior walls and out into the surrounding public space.
Porritt describes his approach to the unique VITRINE space as wanting to create a site-responsive work that would turn, move and animate the space which after a time led him to the lighthouse. He was also drawn to the motif of the lighthouse for its symbolic associations; providing a guiding light in a disorientating and changeable environment they stand defiant in stormy seas, singular against the horizon, beacons that warn of the dangers beneath them.
Referencing both individual and shared histories, Porritt’s work in drawing, sculpture, text, the moving image, and performance, is largely concerned with human agency and its associated ethical implications. For ‘A Certain Change’ sculptural works were accompanied by drawings that continued off the paper in all directions. Using no more than the drawn line these works achieve an ordered chaos akin to the play of light on water.
For the past decade, drawing has been a constant in Porritt’s wide-ranging practice, he uses it to detect and root out the underlying and interlocking logic of things. This is most apparent with his drawings of invented patterns which at first can appear simple but gain in complexity the more you look at them.
Its was the artist’s intention that the lighthouse is read as a metaphor compounded by it being shown here in Switzerland; Basel being home to the only seaport of an otherwise landlocked country. The human height of the lighthouse lends the sculpture a melancholic air and at the same time, there is a strange comfort to be taken in watching it stoically maintain its lonely vigil.
Sam Porritt (b. 1979, London, UK, Lives and works Zurich, CH) graduated with a BFA in sculpture from the Chelsea School of Art and Design (2002). In 2005 he received his Post Graduate Diploma from the Royal Academy Schools, London. He was selected for the Swiss Art Awards 2017 and his book ‘ASSEMBLY – Cast of Characters’ was published by SIDE ISSUES, Zurich, CH (2015).
Solo exhibitions include: ‘The Golden Rule’, CIRCUIT, Lausanne, CH (2017); ‘The Lonely Target’, c.o.m.p.o.s.i.t.e, Brussels, Belgium (2017); ’Grist To The Mill’, VITRINE, London, UK (2016); ‘Hidden In Plain Sight’ (with Fabio Pirovino), Frutta, Rome, IT (2016); ‘Falling Gets Me Down’, Naming Rights, London, UK (2015); ‘The More You Look, The More You Look’, 100 plus, Zurich, CH (2014); ‘Captive Audience’, MOK, Rotterdam, NL (2013); ‘Heads & Faces’, PEER, London, UK (2013); and, ‘Going Forward…’ Anne Mosserie-Marlio Gallery, Zurich, CH (2013).
Recent group exhibitions include: 17th Tallinn Print Triennial ‘Cloudbusters: Intensity vs. Intention’ at EKKM, Tallinn, EE (2018); ‘Tipping the Scales‘ at Paradise Works, Manchester, UK (2018); ‘A Journey from a sweeping gesture to a lasting effect’, VITRINE, Basel, CH (2016); ‘Being Boring’, Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, IS (2016); ‘L’Hospice des Mille-Cuisses’ CAN, Neuchâtel, CH (2015); ‘Works on Paper by Sculptors’, The Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2015); ‘Hairy Plotter and the Polygrapher’s Tones’, Toves, Copenhagen, DK (2015); ‘Kunstvlaai’, solo presentation with Q. Projects, Amsterdam, NL (2014);’Pleasure Principles’, Foundation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris, FR (2014); ‘Enjoy The Squares & Triangles You Know. Discover The Squares & Triangles You Don’t Know’, Arcade Fine Arts, London, UK (2013); ‘The Red Queen’ MONA, Tasmania, AUS (2013); ‘Emmy Moore’s Journal: An Exhibition Based on a Letter in a short Story by Jane Bowles,’ SALTS, Basel CH (2013); and ‘Nothing is Forever’ at the South London Gallery, London, UK (2010).
He has curated the exhibitions ‘What’s in a Band? Eyes, Ears, Mouth & Nose!’ at Corner College, Zurich, CH (2012) and ‘Oneself As Another’, at K3 Project Space, Zurich, CH (2011).
Sam Porritt has a solo exhibition ‘A Certain Change’ at VITRINE, Basel, CH (September-December 2018) and a solo show ‘Vevey Positive’ at INDIANA, Vevey, CH (November 2018).