In describing the South-London based artistic practice that goes by the name [pɑːtɪk(ə)l] (pronounced ‘particle’), words like cryptic, dynamic and multifaceted come to mind. [pɑːtɪk(ə)l]’s output is predicated on the creation of modular installation structures which are each born from an admirably in-depth research and development process akin to alchemy. 

At the heart of [pɑːtɪk(ə)l]’s practice lies an abstract protagonist: an enigmatic figure continuously morphing from a conductor to a receiver, a mad scientist locked in his lab. As an orchestrator of form, [pɑːtɪk(ə)l] creates carefully constructed installations employing light, sound and matter to invite the audience to step into a world where the laws of physics coalesce with the curiosities of the natural world and the abstraction of storytelling.

If reality is considered a construction, [pɑːtɪk(ə)l]’s practice should be understood as an attempt to build an alternative one. Taking the form of modular structures, [pɑːtɪk(ə)l]’s installations can be repeatedly disassembled and reassembled, becoming new environments built in response to the space in which they are displayed. Lacking any fixed form, each work is thus able to bend and mould the shape of reality in line with [pɑːtɪk(ə)l]’s vision at any given moment. 

In what ways does your practice look to the future?

[driːm/dʌst] (pronounced ‘dream / dust’) here speaking for [pɑːtɪk(ə)l] (pronounced ‘particle’)

In its aesthetic presentation, [pɑːtɪk(ə)l]’s work alludes to science fiction. One of its exhibition pieces for Modern Forms, titled [prəʊ.tə.taɪp] (pronounced ‘prototype’), was born from research into simple modularity systems. It began when [pɑːtɪk(ə)l] was looking for a way to contextualise its abstract sculptures within a specific environment, while allowing the surroundings to feed into the meaning of the piece. The result was a modular, adjustable structure that can be moulded into a number of forms, a characteristic which might unintentionally speak to a kind of futurism, like the idea of a transformer. 

In addition, by distancing the artwork from its creator under the title [pɑːtɪk(ə)l], the practice is also speaking to the future through attempting to ensure the it own longevity. It is not tied to any one artist and could continue beyond their death. 

On a practical level, [pɑːtɪk(ə)l] is also considering the future by trying to work sustainably. This is incredibly challenging in terms of material choices: MDF, for example, is the most economical way to recycle wood, yet the chips and off-cuts from wood factories are crushed into powder and heat pressed with formaldehyde. It’s a shame as MDF could easily be a very sustainable and affordable material, if only the latter half of this process was modified. Nonetheless, [pɑːtɪk(ə)l] intends to keep searching for sustainable alternatives. 

How might your work be considered a reflection of our times?

As a practice in its early stages, [pɑːtɪk(ə)l] finds it hard to define the message that it aims to communicate. Having said this, this practice began just before the covid pandemic erupted in the UK, so in some ways it is an unintentional reflection of that experience. 

In terms of methodology, [pɑːtɪk(ə)l] relies on a number of contemporary fabrication methods including 3D modelling and printing, and recently electronics and coding. The latter are somewhat at play in another of its works for Modern Forms, [sep.tə] (pronounced ‘sceptre’). 

How does your practice speak to the past?

The practice has emerged from a large variety of influences, some understood, others just felt. Who wouldn’t like to experience Hermann Nitsch’s Orgies Mysteries Theatre or one of Bruno Gironcoli’s sculptures? A long time ago, sculpture began with a hammer and a chisel, a method that is deeply romantic and has come to define the discipline ever since. It has taken a long time for new technologies and methodologies to be accepted or even partially understood within this space. 

Essential to [pɑːtɪk(ə)l]’s practice has been observing the techniques that have become prevalent in sculpture throughout the ages, while identifying those that have perhaps been lost or forgotten. It is the latter that has come to influence this practice the most.