Nathan Coley’s work
Nathan Coley explores how power can be inferred through architecture and public space. Underpinned by research, his aim is to facilitate an increased physical and mental engagement with our environment.
To enter and exit the installation we step over sculptures, bounding the space and designating a threshold, a transformative state of being. Made from oak, rich with moral associations, the works also register minimalist sculpture.
Annihilated Confessions present exquisite framed photographs of confession boxes obliterated by black spray-paint, referencing street graffiti and censorship. By partially glimpsing the photographs beneath the surface we are simultaneously offered and denied access to the image. Like absolution, the works examine how power can be inferred whilst not, in fact, being visible during correspondence. Referencing a famous song of English patriotism, his art piece; Hope and Glory presents us with a generic English house, hand-built and imbued with a sense of incompleteness. Its physical status is unclear. The work explores how ideas of Englishness become entrenched in national memory, informing territorial identity.
In THERE WILL BE NO MIRACLES HERE the glitzy typeface jars with the folksy light bulbs, the prodigious title simultaneously forbidding and admitting the possibility of divine intervention. It derives from a historical event where a King, in effect, imposed state jurisdiction over the ‘higher’ law of God. Opening up a range of possible readings, in Coley’s work truth and belief are considered unstable and relative. His work proposed strategies for us to engage more expansively with the world in which we live.