Monday, 30 July 2012

Light Drawer

Light Drawer, Mariana Fernandes © Alberto Ferretto

Fabrica and &Foam: Still Lights series

Light Drawer, drawer (Mariana Fernandes, Portugal)

We all know what the purpose of a drawer is. To put stuff away, right? Underpants, socks, cutlery, tape measure, bags for your pedal bin, bits, bobs. Pretty much anything that you would rather not have scattered around in your home finds a place in a drawer. That's why the default position for your common or garden drawer is closed. Out of the way, out of sight.

Light Drawer, Mariana Fernandes © Alberto Ferretto

When we need any of the items inside we slide it open, exposing a chaos of clutter (unless you're one of those obsessives that orders the contents with geometrical precision and a protractor). We take what we need and then slide it shut again.

Light Drawer, Mariana Fernandes © Alberto Ferretto

Mariana's piece, whilst being a drawer, is actually more about describing the purpose of a drawer. In line with the Still Lights concept, Light Drawer is an interaction between subject, light and frame, all basic elements of photography. The frame is an oak wood desk with surface proportions that reflect the standard 10x15 inch format of a photographic print. The light is a Philips-supplied UV strip bulb which comes on only when the drawer is opened. And the subject, inside the drawer, is a sheet of protective paper printed with illustrations of various still life subjects in UV ink.

Light Drawer, Mariana Fernandes © Alberto Ferretto

So a drawer it certainly is. But it's also more than that. It's the idea of a drawer. It's about the function, the mechanism.  We pay more attention to opening the drawer because it switches on a light. And we pay more attention to the contents of the drawer because it is the UV light that illuminates it.

This is all very lofty stuff for a mundane, essentially invisible piece of furniture, one whose sole purpose in every other way is to hide itself and all that it contains. But they are the storage saviours of small apartments and I should know, I've got one. So it's about time someone put a good word in. There's plenty of space next to the superglue and the scissors.

Jonathan Crawford

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