HOME: Martin Boyle
Martin Boyle’s kinetic installation somewhere else presents the viewer with a scattered array of shimmering fragments of golden foil.
Each individual component is powered by a small motor that enables it to gently rotate. Made from a single reflective survival blanket cut into pieces, these slowly turning sections are arranged across the gallery wall perpetually spinning in circles.
The work draws on the recent presence of these blankets in news reportage, wrapped around refugees who have been rescued in their desperate attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe; of course, the foil sheeting is only for survivors. Boyle also relates the work to a particular instance of the media representation of migrant communities - a recent photograph posted on Facebook of Syrian refugees being welcomed to their new home in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. As the artist explains: “a large portion of responses left were extreme statements showing an absence of empathy, compassion, or goodwill, instead blaming the new arrivals for draining the social welfare system, stating that ‘they should be sent back, or at least somewhere else, to be someone else’s problem. Not our problem, simple.’” This imagined destination, anywhere but here, gives the work its title, while also alluding to the platforms which allow critics to discharge their opinions without reservations or accountability.