Visit Turner Contemporary this December and be inspired by Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan's alternative Christmas tree installation DOES THE ITERATIVE FIT on our South terrace. This temporary sculptural and audio artwork was commissioned by The Kings Cross Project and originally installed in Granary Square, London over Christmas 2017.
Tatham and O’Sullivan’s sculptures and installations often question the accepted or expected outcomes of contemporary art practice. DOES THE ITERATIVE FIT is a response to and critique of its original commission brief to design a Christmas tree for a busy public space. The resulting sculpture with accompanying soundtrack reimagines the behaviour and meaning of a public artwork and considers the functions that art is expected to perform within the public sphere. The commentary, voiced by an actor, relates the experiences of an art object out in the world, projected through speakers that double as brightly coloured branches.
Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan have worked collaboratively since 1995. Their work questions the roles and behaviours of contemporary art, often through re-staging and re-working a vocabulary of motifs, phrases and forms drawn from images, objects and histories of art and visual culture. Motifs such as pyramids, standing stones and cartoon-like animals occur as sculpture, painting and architecture alongside performance, photographs and text.
Tatham and O’Sullivan represented Scotland at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 as part of the exhibition Selective Memory and in 2013 they were shortlisted for the Northern Art Prize. They began working in collaboration whilst undertaking the MFA programme at Glasgow School of Art in the mid 1990s, and their collaborative work was first exhibited at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow in 1995.