The title refers to the space in which Adam Gillam currently works – a garage awaiting conversion to a studio, and to his working methods. Change, evolution, and cannibalization are key to his practice. Gillam has a passion for playful bricolage, imposing witty transformations on found materials.
Gillam adopts an improvised and what he terms a ‘fidgety’ approach to making. Found materials, discarded matter, drawings, notes and phrases are layered into wall-based pieces. This is particularly evident in the new photographic works presented in In Constant Use. Glimpses of the artist in his studio in the act of taking a photograph, are overlaid with magic-marker squiggles, bits of coloured tape, a piece of fabric with a fragment of a drawing taped over the top. Gillam refers to them as arrangements that are realised through the camera.
The word sampling, used in terms of music, seems appropriate – Gillam offers the very process of making as the artwork itself. The photographic works present a record of changes, erasures, decisions.
In Constant Use also includes wall-based pieces that are a hybrid of painting and object. Often made of irregularly shaped pieces of wood or board, Gillam builds up the surfaces with jesmonite, hessian or fibreglass and paints them using oilpaint and household gloss. This creates a kind of sealed, textured skin with occasional anomalies – a small rubber ball, a handle, pieces of wire or foam as visual punctuation. The occasional scribbled word like: ‘yellow’, ‘too dark’, ‘listen’, suggest elliptical clues belying the apparent ephemeral nature of these works.