‘Still Life’, 2007-2010

Materials: soap, intermittent back projection with sound

Dimensions: Variable

Awarded a Creative Technician placement, at Battersea Arts Centre, in 2009, it was during this period that she began to produce site-reflective installations beyond the gallery environment. Drawing upon her mothers cleaning rituals, she responded to, two semi-derelict spaces in the heart of London; ‘Still Life’ , 2010 and ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’, 2010. Both installations worked with the materiality of soap as a means to explore the notion of what it meant to cleanse an environment literally, socially, ethically, and spiritually.

In 2010, London South Bank University owned various Grade II listed properties based around Elephant & Castle, which were left to fall into decline, one being the former pub The Duke of Clarence. Amongst the squatters protests and between the scaffold bracing the floors and ceilings, the white porcelain-like glow of Forrest’s installation reflected a dreamlike apparition of this former Victorian setting.

Cast in soap, the sterile scent of a wash bowl, jug, washstand and chamber pot lingered within the dank, dark and neglected, yet financially flourishing plot. Forrest’s wishy-washy response, though temporary, was staged to stir activity. By 2013, the site was rescued from the brink of condemnation, reopening as the Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation, receiving many commendations.