State of the Nation - No Laughing Matter Sculpture by Derek Goldberg

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Detail showing the painted background and the squashed and damaged canisters all to represent the fractured state of the nation highlighted by Brexit
Detail showing the painted background and the squashed and damaged canisters all to represent the fractured state of the nation highlighted by Brexit
This piece was the star of my solo exhibition Laugh out Loud Nov/Dec 2019. It also shows the simple white frame fitted around the piece after mounting. This hid the heavy wooden structure beside the installation and gave an impression of floating from the wall.
Detail showing the wooden structure behind the installation at the point where the top half fits on the bottom half
These are the 6mm thick pieces of wood to install after the main work has been mounted - they create a floating effect and hide the wooden structure behind. They are 80mm wide.

Art Description

Sculpture: Found Objects, Wood, Acrylic, Environmental, New Media on Wood, Steel.

This is the largest of my unique art installations using 4140 discarded, laughing gas canisters (also known as Noz and Whippets). They are glued into an acrylic painted wooden structure using certified MDF from a company with sustainable certification and a substantial frame of red mahogany hardwood. All the canisters are washed and sprayed with an anti-rust spray.
This was inspired by the Brexit debate in the UK. Every one of the canisters is either squashed or damaged in some way and the red, white and blue of the flag are in 6 different shades each - this is all to represent the fractious nature of the debate and the ongoing fragility of holding together the 4 countries comprising the United Kingdom. The flag is accurately dimensioned to a standard "two and a half yard" size and is correctly handed - this is a complicated pattern and only goes one way up. The flag was inspired by a visit to the Jasper Johns exhibition in London in 2018.
This is a very heavy piece and must be mounted on a solid wall. It comes in 2 sections each weighing approximately 55kg - total 110kg. It has been successfully moved between my studio and the gallery space for my Nov/Dec 2019 solo exhibition Laugh out Loud. The bottom section is mounted on a heavy batten fixed to the wall and the top section rests on the bottom section. I then have a simple white 80cm wide edging that fixes around the piece hiding the wooden structure behind, which gives the impression of a floating frame. This is not included in the dimensions. You will see a detail of this mounted in the exhibition. I would be very happy to help with the installation personally if in the UK or by Skype if outside the UK.
All the canisters have been picked up my me, supportive friends and willing street cleaners from the gutters, car parks and parks of London. This art is helping the environment, reducing litter and saving these from land-fill sites and the street cleaners do not separate them for metal recycling.
These canisters are used as a "legal high" and are extensively used with little regard for the medical evidence of risk to mental health. Some deaths have been directly attributed to extensive misuse.
Repair kit - the canisters are glued in using Gorilla Grab glue. If not disturbed they will stay permanently in position. People are very drawn to touch and if any become loose, the hole can easily be cleaned out and the canister reglued. I will supply a few spare canisters as well.


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State of the Nation - No Laughing Matter

Derek Goldberg

United Kingdom

Sculpture

Size: 90.6 W x 45.3 H x 4.5 in

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Artist featured by Saatchi Art in a collection