Waldella VI, an illuminated and brightly coloured sculptural work by David Batchelor, is December’s Featured Work

Waldella VI by David Batchelor

© David Batchelor

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Waldella VI, an illuminated and brightly coloured sculptural work by David Batchelor, is one of many of the artist’s works that revel in colour and light. Largely assembled from recycled plastic cleaning fluid bottles and containers, the sculpture is rooted in the everyday, transforming mundane, throwaway items into objects of beauty. Strung together with cables, bulbs and plugs, it creates an unexpectedly beautiful ‘readymade’ hanging piece that radiates seductive colour.

Engaging with the idea of the ‘readymade’, Waldella VI resonates with some of the works of early 20th century French artist, Marcel Duchamp, in particular, his 1917 work, Fountain, derived from an ordinary urinal. Today, Batchelor’s use of disposable items also invites us to question and re-consider the ubiquity of plastic in our lives, in an era of global environmental awareness.

In July 2018, Walldella VI was loaned for the day to Reay Primary School in Lambeth, as part of Masterpieces in Schools, an initiative led by Art UK, in which school children in the UK gain direct access to works of art from national collections. On the day, David Batchelor gave a talk to every year group of the school; while the presence of the sculpture on site, inspired a range of cross-curricula activities, including dance performances, mural-making, poetry and textile printing.

Born in Dundee, David Batchelor studied fine art at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, and cultural theory at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, Birmingham University. He has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally, with recent shows in Melbourne, London and Tehran. His many major commissioned works include Sixty Minute Spectrum on the roof of the re-launched Hayward Gallery in 2017; and Chromorama, a monumental tower of illuminated lightboxes commissioned by British Land for 5 Broadgate, London, in 2016. His published works include The October Colouring in Book (2016), The Luminous and the Grey (2014) and Chromophobia (2000).