Oliver Zwink is fascinated by the form and scale of cities. By using simple materials to create complex imaginary urban landscapes, he captures a part of our everyday lives, and looks at it again from a different perspective - literally.
Based in Berlin but having lived in a number of cities including London, Zwink explores his interest in the urban landscape in a range of media. At f a projects, he has made an installation specific to the gallery, suspended in its main space - a grey card tower, broken, derelict and empty. You can interpret the piece how you choose; as with most of the works on display, it isn't titled, nor is there any explanatory text. It could be seen as a reflection on the threat of terrorism, the demolition of once utopian flats, poverty, or perhaps as just an observation of form, colour and texture in the built environment.
Zwink leaves you to make up your mind.
In previous shows, Zwink has created small-scale cities, made predominantly from card and coloured paper - cardboard 'cities' like shanty towns. Appropriately, his exhibition 'Zora' was named after one of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. With their corroded facades, these urban miniatures, little more than waist-high, had an apocalyptic air. Devoid of people, they seemed desolate and abandoned.
At this current exhibition, the cardboard city is only present in two dimensions.
The three-dimensional city 'lives' in Zwink's studio in Berlin, slowly evolving.He interprets this transformation in dark dramatic photographs. Somehow scaleless, these images depict the depths of the 'city' that you would not experience with an installation. Whereas our cities change over decades and centuries, Zwink's do so within a matter of months.
In a separate room, pencil drawings depict imaginary cityscapes seen from the sky. The distortion of perspective and scale makes them almost childlike, but the observation of urban space is more developed and complicated than at first glance. Zwink has been working on one piece for two years, and although he has completed it for the exhibition, there is a sense that its development could have continued indefinitely.
This is an absorbing and mysterious show. Like the cities it refers to, Zwink's intriguing work seems to constantly evolve.
Liz Ellston is a designer with Weldon Walshe