Darren Almond uses sculpture, film and photography, and real-time satellite broadcast to explore the effects of time on the individual. Harnessing the symbolic and emotional potential of objects, places and situations, he produces works which have universal as well as personal resonances.
Darren Almond’s work
Ideas about memory permeate much of Almond’s work. The four-screen video installation shown here, If I Had You 2003, focuses on the personal memories of his widowed grandmother. Almond filmed her as she revisited Blackpool, where she had spent her honeymoon, for the first time since her husband’s death twenty years earlier. She watches a lone couple dancing in the famous Tower Ballroom. The soundtrack combines a gentle piano melody with sliding footsteps, discernible in each corner of the gallery. Their circular movement echoes the turning sails and creaking mechanism of an illuminated windmill from Blackpool’s promenade; Almond’s poignant metaphor for the reality of passing time and the inevitability of death.
But, as always, Almond himself refrains from moral comment. As in his other work, such as the oversized mechanical flip-clocks, live-feed images of alien and empty locations, or bus-shelters transported from Auschwitz, we are left to respond to his powerful symbolism. Themes of love and memory engage us on a visceral level, emphasising human vulnerability: ‘the vulnerability of yourself against time.’