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Cheap Laughs

Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park, 2017

The artwork, Cheap Laughs, is an up scaled version of a stile. Stiles direct you, taking you back to the path, to an exit or an entrance. Finding a stile when you are feeling lost or unsure of the way is the source of a huge relief of tension. Representing a crossing point, with positive purpose; stiles are there to help, they are there to facilitate movement between spaces, and, by design, are two way.  The work represents a form of hospitality in the landscape, something worth highlighting at a time when rights to move freely within the EU and beyond are in the process of being taken away. 

 

The title Cheap Laughs has two readings; the potential for the work to generate a few laughs for those who climb it and for those who watch, and also in reference to the 'Ha Ha', a ditch dug around wealthy country estates in order to give the illusion of endlessness whilst providing the functionality of preventing livestock entering in to the estate. Cheap Laughs (the stile) is the more economical and helpful version of the Ha Ha.