A photograph of an installation, made up of wooden poles and flag-shaped wooden panels

Darren Nixon, The Awkward Ambassador (2016) Photograph by Arthur Siuksta.

Darren Nixon, The Awkward Ambassador, 2016

Artist: Darren Nixon

Title: The Awkward Ambassador

Year: 2016

Medium: Installation, paint and wood

Dimensions: Variable

Accession Number: US2016-04

Acquisition info: The Awkward Ambassador was commissioned for the collection through the inaugural StudioBook programme with Mark Devereux Projects, 2015/2016.

The installation responds to the notion of how a work of art assumes a restless existence as it finds itself in a public art collection, required to take on different ‘personas’. Installed in three different forms, The InternThe Mixer and finally The Awkward Ambassador will each portray the work’s shifting relationship with its surroundings, whether in the University’s art stores (the intern) within the campus (the mixer) or when sent out on loan to represent its owner (the awkward ambassador).

In the first persona, the work is stored in seperate pieces, placed around the art store by the artist (and later, relocated as necessary by the curators). It ‘waits’ quietly amid the other works in the store. The second persona takes a wall-based format, protruding into the room, amongst gallery visitors, beginning a new sense of confidence. Finally, when out on loan, the work takes a large, sprawling floor-based format, the beams and panels standing proud like flags.

The colours, patterns and imagery on the panels of the work are inspired by existing works in the University of Salford Art Collection; and can be installed in numerous different configurations each time the work is shown.

Keywords: Installation, Mixed Media, Sculpture