Paul Malone : 00 Scale Environment
23cms Tanker Wagons from the List of Stars series. 2016

 

These artworks use the language of the 00 scale model railway environment to explore the general concepts of 'model-making' and the specifics of working within a scaled environment. Model-making can operate in several directions but usually it is seen as verisimilitude in transcribing from the 'real world' to the miniaturised as a way of bringing large scale chaotic elements under comprehension and therefore control.

Alternatively it can work from comprehensible sub-units (because they are small scale and controllable) to emulate and predict how the full scale world operates. But this reliance on the experiential world is not necessarily the whole story. Once in the model environment, changes and abstractions can be speculated that would be impossible otherwise.

At first, my interest in the 00 environment came about through wanting to make an extended micro-dolly for my digital movie camera. The intension was to use it for animations and set-piece tabletop explorations. But one thing led to another... and the initial 1-2 metres extended to several, and then looped round to form a circuit. Obviously the table top could not contain this expansion and so it migrated to the floor.

Once there , a whole new set of possibilities opened up in terms of the exploration of internal spaces. The track could be laid under furniture, and generated objects, and the artist's feet and hands (initially staying out of shot) became an integral part of the sequences.

I subsequently set about looking for alternative uses for the hardware I had accumulated and created the aerial installations 'Climate Model 02' for the exhibition 'Perpetuum Mobile' 2008, 'The Inconstant Heavens' at the C4CC in 2010 to the Molecular Cloud series in 2015 / 2016.

To orbit these installations, and as stand alone works, I have been generating my own tanker wagons. These contain embedded philosophical texts, the spectra of elements, lists of astronomical nomenclature and metaphorical plasmas. These are fully operational wagons that can be runaround a track, but also have been extended into the absurd.

 

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Versions from 2009