The Wilderness is an airship circling the earth. It is made from an old luxury yacht hanging from a very large aluminium balloon with a garden on top. Around a hundred people live on board.
Well Projects is excited to present Airship Wilderness, a solo exhibition by Holly White. In Airship Wilderness acid bright colour has been washed out and faded in the bright sunlight of a different world. Maybe it’s our world at some point in the future, or maybe it’s a mirror reflecting a parallel reality.
Airship Wilderness offers up a microcosm; A small group of people, seemingly self-sufficient, living in peculiar harmony with the ocean and the skies. They have their own politics, their own sense of community and their own system of values. Rather than telling the whole story, White fixes this world in place through the presentation of objects and backdrops that feel both symbolic and lived in, as if the inhabitants have just left to go and tend to their floating garden. You happen across their possessions and look out from the porthole of their home, the smell of salty air and yesterday’s cooking in the air.
This handcrafted inventory of the everyday functions like the heads up display of a video game as you start pulling at the threads of the mystery of the place. At the heart of Airship Wilderness is a set of cards that helps to braid those threads together. Hand drawn illustrations and meticulously detailed descriptions of day to day life, flesh out the histories of the objects in the gallery space and provide entry points into a unique frame of sense.
The peripheral feeling that the Wilderness exists in a time after a terrible collapse maintains clear parallels to the precarious situation of our present. In Airship Wilderness, White finds ways to diffuse this ominous charge, reframing a world on the brink into a love story of empathy, community and hope.