John Gatip – Project Gaia

Beyond Worlds

Beyond Worlds is a series of architectural dioramas that explores the idea of cities as its own entity/world where it creates its own environment and even microclimate. The dioramas are an interrogation on the formations of architecture in cities as they densify overtime. These are playful mashing of forms to create and allude the idea of a dense environment. The Art Vending Machine series contain 25 unique micro sculptures. The use of industrial architecture is a reference to the industrial revolution at the turn of the century where it heralded the expansion of the city and the separation of the natural environment. The use of gold reflects the prospective, seductive and even deceitful nature of the city.

These pieces can be collected and arranged in a way they create a skyline that can shift, alter and change. Each gold piece was cast from mixing polyester resin and metallic gold powder into specifically designed silicone moulds. The pieces are then fixed to each other using an epoxy adhesive.

‘Beyond Worlds’ is an off shoot series of Project Gaia’s ‘Guano Gold Enterprise’ which explored the inevitable mass exodus of Nauru as the island can no longer support its people. The exodus re-uses the industrial material in the island to form an ark that functioned as a city floating on water.

My artistic approach blurs the disciplinary boundaries of art and architecture where storytelling of future speculation becomes a central focus. In order to imagine tomorrow and create new worlds, intense research on the present and past is conducted. A holistic understanding of culture, environment (built and natural) and history help form speculative prophesies. My process is multi-modal ranging from exploration through sketch, collage to writing fictional stories. This allows me to imagine new worlds/places. This is very much influenced by my love of science fiction/fantasy movies where the possibilities of the unknown are limitless.

I strongly rely on digital technologies such as 3D modelling and 3D printing to explore the spatial aspects of my sculptures. I then test them through continuous experimentation of physical modelling using a variety of materials such as resin and plaster. Materiality and the process of creation plays an important element in the storytelling of my work. The skills gained in architecture are used to inform my sculptural production. I believe the elements and principles of art and architecture can be intertwined and interchangeable. I seek to push, merge and blur the boundaries of architecture with art s disciplines not necessarily adjacent.