R&D 9 | Colour, taste and narrative

I’m looking forward to this exciting trying-it-out stage and have load of questions. In this post I aim to come up with questions that may help realise the project more successfully, they don’t necessarily need answers.

As I understand it, you have made a small wooden room in which to stage a experimental changeable exhibition that will be created/constructed from coloured chunks/elements of wood.

MAR_6751  s1-4

Is this based on anything in particular?  The photo of it being constructed reminds me of a Play House for kids and the drawing, top right, looking like a Sentry Box.  Are these familiarities intended?  Or if they are not how do you feel about work being read this way?

Will the inside of the space be covered, painted or left bare?


Ronnie Hiorn’s ‘Seizure’



What are the things you will be trying out and why? Should experimentation have a reason? What is it called?  I know that this is a R&D project but where are you trying to get to? What do you hope to achieve?

When I visited CAT recently, I saw your sculptures and really enjoyed their comedic feeling.   On one hand they seem like remnants of some huge serious machine from a bygone era and on the other hand they are like cartoons of the machine aesthetic.  Clearly they are well made and that plus the thought of how they are made is impressive too, but I already knew you are a perfectionist that likes to push the possible and take things to the limit.  Perhaps that is what is funny, that you seem to be poking fun at the industrialised world by making it useless.

sculpture danny may

So are we to see the same sense in the next work or has it moved somewhere else? I know that this project wants to look into painted wood and thats a good thing in my view as the general public don’t seem to like painted wood, they see it as vulgar not tasteful, which must be a reaction to things they see as childish and in reality actually like.  I suppose to have taste is middle class and grown up. Does tasteful just mean acceptable and therefore just mean correct values, and if so who is the judge?

horses-159x159 6a00d8341c964853ef014e88d853b8970d-800wi-copy-159x159Vulgar?                                                   


I don’t know if you have read it but I’ll bring along the book ‘Chromophobia‘ by David Batchelor, to quote its sleeve, “Chromophobia – a fear of corruption or contamination through colour – has lurked within Western Culture since ancient times. This is apparent in the many attempts to purge colour from art, literature and architecture, either by making it the property of some ‘foreign’ body – the oriental, the feminine, the infantile, the vulgar or the pathological – or by relegating it to the realm of the superficial, the inessential or the cosmetic, which in many cases amounts to the same thing.”

Its a fantastic book and one that can definitely inform this project.

R&D - Ben - 2a

So that is quite a lot on colour, I still want to know something about what you feel, are there any narratives connected to this project?



This blog-post forms a part of an Arts council funded ‘Research and Development’ project.

The artists involved are Daniel May, working in collaboration with the Ben Lloyd


This project is sponsored by The Arts Council of Wales

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