Bill Culbert

NZL (1935). Lives and works in London and the South of France.

BILL CULBERT_FlotsamCartagena_2014

Daylight Flotsam, 2014
Installation. Plastic containers, fluorescent tubes, cables. Variable dimensions

Bill Culbert’s art holds an affinity to Dadaism, in that he works with found objects such as tables, chairs, boxes, tools, jugs, suitcases, lampshades, and wine glasses.
Towards the end of the sixties, he began to experiment with light, using shadow, incandecents, and fluorescents as his main media for building and managing light in his
object-sculptures. Since then, light— which is its own ready-made—has been the primary material used in his work, and the neon tubes lend coherence to his sculptural compositions. His work irradiates energy and is both intriguing and familiar, as though part of routine reality.

Flotsam Cartagena is an installation built from fluorescent tubes and PVC bottles, creating a densely populated field—a carpet of color. The tubes and bottles are enmeshed in each other, as if deposited by the tide, reminding us of the vast quantities of disposable plastic that pollute the oceans and rivers of the world. Close up, the installation takes on a hypnotizing presence, at times appearing before us as a ghostly fluorescent ocean at night, interrupted by blasts of white light that wind through the vast field of color fragments.