Anna and Renee Miller-Yeaman Sky Blue + Green GrassOpening: Wednesday 23 July, 6-8pm Dates: 23 July-9 August 2014
Design professionals frequently dismiss the digital modelling program SketchUp for its unsophisticated techniques and lack of complex tools. However its accessibility and devoted community of amateur model contributors make it a software program with vitality outside an architectʼs lab. The SketchUp community can dump, purchase or freely obtain an assortment of objects, peoples and terrains through the Extension Warehouse. On the digital shelves are growing collections of historic buildings, cityscapes and industrial wastelands that can be arranged into playful combinations.
SketchUpʼs base template offers a choice between two opening scenes: a horizon divided by grey and beige or by green and blue. These banal backdrops provide the user with a design platform reduced to conceptual essentials – sky, land and building. As the 3D forms grow and material swatches are applied this void transforms into a digital tableau of leafy trees and real estate. SketchUp is configured to attract a DIY audience however the programʼs bizarre landscapes sustain the historic architectural delusion of white walls hovering in a green field. In SketchUp Architectureʼs volatile relationship to the natural environment is digitally sanitised. Sky Blue + Green Grass is an investigation into the preoccupation with a stainless presentation of the design process from concept to construction. The project looks at the architectural performance of ensuring all mess and muck remains seamlessly below the surface.
Anna and Reneeʼs collaborative projects pivot around installations that use and manipulate built spaces. Together they insert constructed objects, surface additions and drawings into a site. These material appendages operate with and against the logic of the existing architecture, while alluding to alternative narratives. Employing Reneeʼs architectural background and Annaʼs sculptural practice the pair consider the design process of concealing the unsavoury.