Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Orrery – The New Fairlop Oak

Hauser & Wirth have a new exhibition by artist Mark Wallinger featuring Barkingside and it’s not the new Town Square. It’s up in Savile Row and opens on Thursday 25 February, 6 – 8 pm and then from 26 February – 7 May 2016 Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm.
Both Savile Row spaces will host a presentation of new paintings and multi-media works. In this exhibition, Wallinger encourages a contemplation of the self within a society in which behaviour and personal identity come under increasingly closer scrutiny. Wallinger utilises Sigmund Freud’s terms, id, ego and superego in an interrogation of the psyche, the self, and the subject. The work examines how, as human beings, we operate between our instinctual urges, our attachment to our identities, and the ways in which we judge ourselves as members of a certain culture.
Wow! That is exactly what our main topic of conversation is in the New Fairlop Oak Public House. Onwards ….
Wallinger’s new video work, ‘Orrery’ (2016) takes as its subject the New Fairlop Oak in the centre of Fullwell Cross roundabout in Barkingside. This tree was planted in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain to commemorate the legendary Fairlop Oak that had stood for centuries in Hainault Forest. ‘Orrery’ takes its name from the mechanical model that articulates the positions of the planets and moons. Within the gallery, the work is presented on four screens mounted on stands representing the four seasons, reiterating the pedagogical nature of the Orrery.
The work was created using an iPhone blue-tacked to the driver’s side window. In this way the tree is presented in a revolving dance within the constancy of the frame. The oak tree on its island is a cameo of Britain destined to rotate in its tiny orbit endlessly. As the world around the tree revolves, the sun moves across the screen. This revolution of a municipal roundabout in Essex becomes a contemplation of the orbit of our planet around the sun and our place in the universe.
Again, we endlessly discuss the question of whether Britain should continue to dance in its tiny endless orbit inside or outside the European Union.

Via Front Row on Radio 4 (near the end)


  1. Sounds quite cute.....I remember years ago ..a bus driver used to have the old ladies on his bus coming home from bingo in fits of laughter by going round the round about several times ..

  2. What could one possibly say. innit?

  3. Mark is a West Hatch alumnus so he has a connection with the area.