Inspiration Video: ROYAL RE-FORMATION

ROYAL RE-FORMATION from Paul Nicholls on Vimeo.

In an age of progressively automated manufacturing and fabrication processes, the Royal Cabinets are an aggressive expression of labour. Assembled from a contractor led design approach, the cabinets draw on highly skilled local craftsmen and artists to produce the fantastical. Staged within the proposed baron ‘facadescape’ of a financially fragile Canary Wharf, the Cabinets are programmatically charged with the loss of yet another great British labour force, Royal Mail. With the privatisation of this service and the closing of the old London sorting offices, the company now exists solely to store, manage and eventually sell its backlog of lost and undelivered mail, inside the cabinets themselves. Sorted by day and publically accessed by night, the cabinets are constructed from salvaged/lost/unwanted materials as well as being ornamentally re-branded with the objects of former mail operations, which include mail carts, postal sacks and even delivery vehicles. These unlikely combinations of materials form an intricate bricolage of sculptures at various scales, forming storage areas, display cases, chandeliers, and even the fabric of the cabinets themselves.

The film attempts in part to graphically abstract the construction of the Royal Cabinets, In a dream-like labour of love. This abstracted reformation is a metaphor for this labour as well as representing the ‘architecture of pieces’ nature to the project. With the obsession for the object the film focuses on an assemblage of immense intricacy as the material slowly clusters to form the sculptural mail markets. Once formed the focus stays with the object, now in the form of the ornamentally re-branded building parts, before the nocturnal mail markets come to life, transforming into red jewels in the urban cityscape, becoming misplaced curious objects in themselves which have a strange visual balance of fragility and aggression.

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