David Osbaldeston studied Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, and his practice is formed of installations, posters, drawings, and prints, creating a large and varied portfolio. In 2015 he exhibitied his latest solo project, The Top and Bottom of It. Mechanism for a Future Reference, at Matt’s Gallery in London.
The Top and Bottom of It was a site-specific work, as it was built to fit into the gallery space and uses materials from the office itself. It is built upon a railing system around the space, making the installation a sculpture made up of separate movable parts to create a kind of machinery which the viewer can operate. This interactivity between the work and the viewer allows the viewer to control it, and move either forwards or backwards in ‘time’, although the technology is still in control. Sequence is one of Osbaldeston’s main concepts in his work, and it plays a large part in this installation.
Another concept in Osbaldeston’s work is language, and how language can be a framework for understanding visual culture. In 2014, he was awarded the Chancellors’ Fellow Art/Writing residency at Edinburgh College of Art and his installation, The Measure of All Things, resulted from this. Part of the exhibition was made up of photographs with notations underneath exploring this utilisation of language, with sentences such as ‘1mm = a flash of inspiration’ underneath a lightbulb. This use of language challenges cliche and metaphor in a way that seamlessly fits in with visual work, bridging the notorious gap between art and writing.