AVRIL CORROON GOT DAMP!
AVRIL CORROON GOT DAMP!
17 MARCH TO 30 APRIL 2023
PV 16 March 18:30-21:30
TACO! launches its new gallery in Thamesmead, SE London, with an inaugural exhibition by Irish artist, Avril Corrron. Entitled Got Damp, the installation explores damp as a crisis of nature in the home and the experience of the ‘Precariat’ within contemporary Britain. The project was commissioned by TACO! as part of its work with communities across South East London.
Got Damp was developed over 2 years of research into living conditions as a galvanising issue for communities in exercising their political voice. At the heart of this research has been an ongoing exchange with 55 households from London and Dublin. Avril provided energy efficient dehumidifiers and support to manage damp, whilst households contributed experiences, ideas and collected their damp as a material for an artwork. Avril’s enquiry sets out to frame damp as an entity with agency and the sculptural potential to represent the socio-economic conditions and structures that created it. The resulting artwork consists of an installed freestanding room, presented within the gallery. Modelled on the footprint of a domestic living the room is constructed from double skinned clear plastic walls. ‘Damp’ collected from participating households and held in jerry cans and barrels is pumped and filtered to run down the inside of the perspex walls.
Central to the installation is a 30m minute film made by the artist that documents the lived experience of households who live with damp in their homes. Their testimony is juxtaposed with thermal imagery and shots of the effects of damp on the fabric of buildings. Individuals describe the physicality of damp, their corporeal relationship to it, how damp impacts on their environment, health and their possessions. Others discuss their attempts to control damp or the lack of support from their landlord.
Damp is caused by excessive moisture in the air that has no way to vent or escape. Such moisture can be generated through problems with the fabric or design of a building, or through our everyday living such as breathing, cooking, drying clothes or bathing. If left untreated damp can damage buildings and lead to the growth of moulds which can be harmful to human health.
Damp can affect any type of home, old and new, and the experience of damp transcends social class. However damp has a cultural stigma unfairly associated
with it. The ability to manage and address damp, and the impact it has is often defined by wider socio-economic structures outside of a single person’s control. Those within precarious economic situations or living in rented accommodation are often more vulnerable to damp and have less capacity to manage it. At a time of increasing economic precarity for many communities, the prevalence of damp as an issue has become an indicator of the UK’s underlying social inequalities.
AVRIL CORROON is an Irish artist who lives and works in London. She works across moving image, performance, and sculpture, combining collaboration,
social engagement, absurd humour, and political insight to form compelling visual and material narratives that explore contemporary lived experience.