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Balancing a Leaf

Chloe Brooks
'northcabin' was a temporary programme of newly commissioned artworks for a small, semi-circular operating cabin on Redcliffe Bridge, Bristol. The programme was developed to give emerging artists the chance to make new work for an architecturally unusual space.

Balancing a Leaf
Redcliffe bridge, a bascule bridge, moves with a counterweight that balances the road, or ‘leaf’ throughout an upward swing, allowing boats to pass underneath. It is this captivating action that the work Balancing a Leaf responds to – a work developed specifically for the North Cabin of the bridge.

The physical intervention within North Cabin seems familiar, yet at the same time unknown. It deprives the structures of their original use values, while still referring to them directly. An uncertainty is created that demands a closer re-evaluation of both the work and its situation.” Chloe Brooks, 2008.

About the artist
Chloe Brooks transforms areas through apparently straightforward physical interventions – interferences into the architectural idiosyncrasies of a space. These blunt interferences examine and respond to their situation, both in terms of the architecture and their social context. By engaging with an entire space the works force a closer re-evaluation of themselves and subsequently their place of inhabitation.

Born in 1982 in Bath, Chloe began her Fine Art studies at Falmouth College of Arts, Cornwall, going on to study towards a Fine Art BA (Hons) at University of the West of England, Bristol and staying in Bristol to complete a three-year Fine Art MA, finishing in 2007.

Since finishing her postgraduate study Chloe has maintained a consistent and vibrant practice, being involved in numerous exhibitions, as well as curating and project managing shows herself. She was Spike Island Junior fellow in 2005 and recent exhibitions include: Studio 22, 2013 (Spike Open, Spike Island, Bristol), CAVE, 2012 (Cave Artfair, Liverpool. Open alongside Liverpool Biennial 2012), Exeter Contemporary Open 2012 (Exeter Phoenix, Exeter), INTERFACE, 2011 (Commission for Hastings Town Centre, Coastal Currents Art Festival), Division of Order, 2009 (Bristol Diving School, Bristol) and The Parade Passed By, Round the Corner, 2009 (Teatro de Trindad, Lisbon, Portugal).

About the site
northcabin was based in a disused operating cabin on Redcliffe Bridge. The bridge was erected in 1939 and replaced a ferry, which connected Redcliffe with the City Centre of Bristol. The north cabin still contains the disused machinery that used to operate the bridge, which is now electronically controlled from the south cabin. Redcliffe is located in the old harbor district of the city, once a bustling district it now serves as a transitory space between the center and the suburbs. The space provides an intersection between road, river, and pedestrian routes.

northcabin opened up the possibility for other individuals and organisations to use the space for the display of contemporary visual art and is now part of Capacity Bristol: Temporary Use of Empty Buildings Programme.

northcabin was funded by Bristol City Council, University of the West of England and Spike Island Associates.

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