Introduction to Eifion Sven-Myer's Installation work by Sarah Tombs
Entering a deconstructed cubicle, space is rendered unstable. Horizontal and vertical planes of walls and floor are displaced, their angles shifted acute and obtuse.
Stretched and ripped, canvas hangs from splintered wood.
Frames are convulsed and distorted, the stretcher pieces dangling in space
Paint is smeared, brushed and splattered, dripping from frame, onto wall and floor
Monochromatic geometric panes are disturbed with lurid aerosol paint sprayed obliterating any sense of order, like manic anarchic vapour trails.
The security of architectural forms is lost as they degenerate in a continual state of collapse, and are deconstructed into a conglomeration of torn clothing, flesh and tissue. Images appear: a face, a portrait, or even a tiny figure gliding across the surface.
Photographs are spliced, pasted and stitched into paint. Torn paper pieces laid onto the floor become ragged pathways directing us through its space.
The duel between trickery of image and the phenomenological reality of material and space is being fought over and it is not yet apparent, which will win...
Like Schwitters’s Merzbau, Sven Myer’s installation is in a state of flux. It is an environment created from painting; but not content with only using paint and the confinement of a flat picture plane, the work spills out into three dimensions. Mirrors are used to create illusion and tease perception-distorting forms, which reveal, disrupt and question the nature of space.
The urgency of the young artist marks out his territory: painting, drawing, constructing and creating. Sven-Myer melds the 2-dimensional world of painting with the 3-dimensional domain of sculpture. The influences of his heroes - Bacon, Vuillard, El Greco, Turner, Goya, - appear in the form of a shape, painterly flourish, or a reconfigured detail.
Figure Transpiring from a Canvas Painting was made in response to Brexit.
Anger is channelled into the form of a huge wooden stake, which defiantly juts out of a wooden platform, before morphing into human form.
Hands and faces made from filling rubber gloves and masks with expanding foam cling to the rigid wood. These body parts are made more visceral by a patina of thick viscous yacht varnish. Rich puce, bloodied paint shines and oozes like a raw, open wound, and decays into atrophied flesh and flayed skin.
Reminiscent of Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa , a cloth sail hangs despondently, flapping from the wooden frame; and seems to represent our island being cast off to drift aimlessly without mercy.
In Hemispheres motion and mirrors are used to create a sense of dislocation. A slowly rotating model head creates a performance of dancing reflections, which are distorted within its construction. Reflected images of the viewer and the viewer themselves both become part of the sculpture.
Sven-Myer’s practice is rooted in painting, however he asserts the freedom to use whatever technology is available to create his work. Robert Rauschenberg once said: ‘you begin with the possibilities of the material’. If this is the case the future for Sven-Myer is very exciting indeed.
-Sarah Tombs was born in Bishop’s Stortford in 1961. She studied at Wimbledon School of Art (1980-83), MA studies followed at Chelsea School of Art (1983-84) and she received a Henry Moore Bursary to study at the Royal College of Art (1985-87). Her sculpture ranges from pieces exhibited in galleries to large sculptures made specifically for outdoor locations and commissions for public spaces. She has completed 10 major commissions nationally and internationally.-