Studio Type - 40 m sq
Ella Litton’s work is a commentary on the politicisation of property and domestic living within Ireland, particularly Dublin City. Litton’s research for this project started with previous works, focusing on feminine spaces, and spaces of refuge for women and children. The research for this project was supplemented by a visit to a women’s refuge centre, where the question of public and private spaces in a state of refuge is raised, and how its temporality and fragility is seen within most living spaces in Dublin.
Within this installation on the standard of living in Dublin, Litton questions Dublin City council’s building regulations, focusing on the 40m2 floorspace requirement for a studio apartment. Challenging this unseen standard of accommodation, Litton collapses, reshapes, and folds that area, dividing it into 3 sections. These sections are then reshaped and folded again, forming unconventional shapes for living.
Through these new shelter-like forms, Litton creates an installation utilising common building materials. The triangular reconfigurations of the 40m2 area are constructed with pieces of 2x1 timber, attached by wood adhesive and nails. These 45-degree triangular forms are later wrapped in a bubble wrap with a pink hue, taking the viewer back to the feminine spaces seen in Litton’s past work. The bubble wrap, which is a standard material in moving, holds fragile objects, protecting them from breaking. However, Litton also uses the bubble wrap for its original intended use, as wallpaper and insulation, creating an element of privacy with this barrier and hue, speaking to the standard of living within Dublin.
The remainder of the 40m2 is conveyed with another interior/exterior material. Tile tape, which is used for covering grout within tiled areas, is stretched across the remaining unoccupied floor and walls. The tape is subtle when on the walls, but easily seen when on floor of the installation space. The use of tape, a material commonly employed by Litton in the past, is a subtle nod to tenant living, as often tenants resort to temporary fixes within their living situations.
This installation feels like the skeleton of an unfinished home. It discusses the social and political obstacles within architectural and urban living through the use of accessible standard building materials, and explores how art might challenge preconceived notions concerning the standards for domestic living by focusing on the concept of space.