Chrine: New Exhibition at Brixton Road’s Block 336

Arts Editor, Ruth Waters, finds the lost and found wood of South London transformed into art at Brixton’s unique artist-led gallery, Block 336

Chrine. Photograph by Ruth Waters, courtesy of Block 336
‘Chrine’. Photograph by Ruth Waters, courtesy of Block 336

Chrine,  an art installation now on show at Brixton Road’s Block 336 gallery, is constructed entirely out of reclaimed timber from the streets of South London, held together in its strange order by 2400 screws. Artist Morley Hill has worked tirelessly for three months to create this mega (or should that be meta?) installation, which was seen by over 170 people at the private view on Thursday 24 January alone, with a further 85 people attending an evening of music with Clinker Babbage at the gallery on Friday 8 February.

Detail from ‘Chrine’.
Photograph by Ruth Waters

Much like Block 336’s previous exhibition, The Hair of the Dog (reviewed for Brixton Blog here), Chrine is a hand-glove fit with the underground, industrial feel of the gallery space. On a Saturday afternoon when I visit the exhibition, the space is weirdly silent and tense as I wonder round huge timber structures.

As an installation Chrine has a coded neatness all of its own, with chair legs attached to windmill structures, and orderly steps made out of discarded planks. Before me is a bizarre medley of once-useful objects (cots, chairs, tables, front doors) which have been reshaped and restructured into things which now only give the sign and semblance of use: the windmills do not turn, the funnels lead from nothing and the ladders are dead ends. Chrine feels like a graveyard, a graceful one at that, for the stuff we no longer want, the debris of home improvement and flat-pack-throw-away culture.

The accompanying wall-mounted paintings and collages, titled Paper Chrine I, III & IV and Prior Investigations I, II & III, also on display in the gallery reveal an artist interested – obsessed almost – with structure and the construction of a whole out of many, often incongruous, separate particles.

Detail from ‘Chrine’.
Photograph by Ruth Waters

Block 336 is located at 336 Brixton Road, SW9 7AA. It is an artist led studio and exhibition space, which aims to exhibit the work of emergent artists for whom the large and unique space will be a useful catalyst for their careers. To find out more about the gallery you visit their website, find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @Block336Gallery.

Chrine will be on exhibition until 22 February 2013, Thurs-Sat 12-6pm.

Ruth Waters can be found tweeting @MinimalismBlog