John Christie

My Blue Heaven

29th April - 10th June 2018

The maquette and related drawings for a recent large-scale piece entitled ‘My Blue Heaven’ are presented here for the first time and accompany works on paper with an architectural theme.

The original full-size ‘shed’, made in early 2018, was constructed using recycled, pre-1914, rusty corrugated iron. From its blue-lit interior came a repeated sound loop of Fats Domino’s great 1956 hit single ‘My Blue Heaven’, my favourite version of the song. The blue colour at first perhaps evokes the signature blue of Yves Klein but the suggestion of blue came firstly from the song and although I’m not sure Klein ever had a shed of his own it seems to me that, famous or not, everyone needs a shed at one time or another in their life. The structure, as built, had no doors or windows and was, on completion, sliced diagonally in two and the halves off-set against one another allowing the light and sound to escape but denying access to all but the slimmest viewer.

The original shed-shaped object hopefully provokes similar questions and speculation as the constellations in the night sky, those patterns imposed on star clusters and named by poets and storytellers long ago. I was hoping to pinpoint a new configuration of stars to represent ‘My Blue Heaven’. Google Translate even gave me a choice of latin names for this new constellation, ‘Magna Fuderis’ or ‘Fundetur Ferro Magna’, but so far I haven’t been able to fix its actual position.

The theme of division and repositioning relates to many works I’ve made over the last few years which often have their genesis in actual buildings or architectural plans, or the disruptive patterning (‘dazzle’ camouflage) of war ships in the first half of the 20th century. My minor obsession with rust and its colour perhaps plays a part too. Among other things on display in the gallery are a series of pastel works on paper and wooden constructions derived from the floor plans and isometric drawings of Mondrian’s famous Paris studio (1921-36) at 26 rue du Départ.”

John Christie is an artist and publisher, he lives and works in Suffolk.