David Shrigley was the first to get in. Gavin Turk followed him. Ben Eine got inside with a bunch of art students. Milan football club AS Velasca squeezed in too. And now, Richard Woods is climbing in to build a summer house. Since its debut appearance during Frieze art fair in 2016, artists Catherine Borowski and Lee Baker have developed SKIP Gallery from a whimsical one-off to an ever-evolving international collaboration, inviting a roster of contemporary artists to exhibit in their mobile public gallery space, otherwise known as a skip.
On 1 June, in a square in Hoxton, Richard Woods will open the (strictly metaphorical) doors to Upgrade – a month-long site-specific installation that engages with its immediate setting and surrounding neighbourhood to explore issues of housing and urban regeneration.
Like Wood’s contribution to the 2017 Folkestone Triennial, Holiday Home (which saw six cartoonishly colourful bungalows appear in unlikely places around the harbour town), Upgrade uses the form of a graphic three-dimensional caricature of a house to bring a fresh perspective to its urban location. This time, however, the house acquires further meaning by being framed by the walls of the skip in which it sits – perhaps representing the elements of a home that are discarded or abandoned in the process of renovation, regeneration and upgrading. With Upgrade, the gallery becomes part of the artwork.