This week, Permindar has added several new pieces to her exhibition. Some are reclaimed and adapted previous works, while others are entirely new, and as yet untitled. At the front of the gallery, a table teeters on unstable legs. The legs are splayed irregularly, and terminate in sharp points which threaten to pierce the floor. Draped over the top is a grey table cloth with “skirt”.
This table, says Permindar, is “learning to walk”. Its instability causes it to resemble a newborn foal or calf, taking its first steps. Its skirt is grey, to resemble a school uniform and emphasise its status as early learner. Despite the innocence that is implied by these features, it is hard to ignore the aggressively sharp points at the end of each leg. While the table cloth “gives it human qualities”, it is evident that the cloth could be removed to “reveal a monster”. Beneath, there is a potentially dangerous beast, that will one day mature into something that poses a threat. It has not yet learned what kind of monster it is, but one day soon it might become aware of its own capacity to be dangerous.
Around the corner, the newly installed ‘Bubbles’ feature clawed teddies that Permindar developed for previous projects, and has altered for the Interlopers exhibition. The teddies are stretched across copper rings, suspended from invisible strings so that they can slowly rotate like floating bubbles. Permindar’s choice of title is particularly important in this piece, as she does not want to imply that the teddies are trapped. Rather, she hopes that audiences will understand this as a playful piece, in which the teddies are enjoying the experiences of “floating”.
One new teddy stands on a diving board above the wall that divides the gallery from the cafe. Though, as I have noted in previous posts, many of these teddies have their hearts set on escape, this teddy is the only one that has managed to escape the gallery setting. The diving board juts out into the cafe space. The teddy seems tentative, having not yet reached the end of the board, but “his arms are up; he’s on the move”. He is waiting to take a courageous leap into the unknown.
The far wall exhibits the mounted heads of creatures that differ from the rest. This installation is a record of a generation of teddies that have come before, and who have been superseded by the more advanced species that survives elsewhere in the gallery. With their antlers, they are more animal-like, and are displayed as if they have been hunted to extinction by the more advanced species of teddies. The newer teddies are more capable, and more human, says Permindar. They have perhaps survived because they have a “better disguise”.
The chance to add these new pieces to an established exhibition has prompted Permindar to consider the possibility of future exhibitions that are designed for change. Having become conscious of the capacity for transformation in her work, she has started to conceive of objects that are transformable, or that are designed to be changed and rearranged. She notes that many of the existing works have components that allow for change. The teddies that are camouflaged against her ‘Black Curtain’ are attached by snap fastenings, so that they can be easily removed and relocated. She is also considering more dramatically transformable works in the future, including the possibility of allowing audiences to rearrange works so that an exhibit could change every day.