veronica slater

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current projects  .  banff  .  multiple histories - distant horizons  .  24 hours  .  6°west inch kenneth  .  meidan talo  .  caravan  .  cradle mountain

Used caravan with many owners and registered with a full history of transience.

Location: Situated in the gravel pit of Fionnphort, Ross of Mull.
Dimensions: Width: 5' Length: 14’
Exterior: Wallpapered with High Spec Quality Wallpaper. The original features have been retained.
Interior: Illusionistic paint and photographic surfaces furbished with ornaments and trinkets foraged from Island Castaways*. It has a fitted fantastical world throughout. With absent berths, it becomes a spacious environment that is familiar yet dreamlike. With no Belling 3-Ring Gas Cooker, Fridge, Sink or WC, it has no mundane restraints. An ephemeral experience is guaranteed. Convention is turned inside out.

Extras: Full Speed Specialised Caravan Utility Release for passage to Utopia. When CARAVAN travels it can resonate with new audiences and open up new spaces in which to dream.

*A charity shop for a community project 'Mull & Iona Environmentally Sensitive Solutions'.


CARAVAN is a total work of art combining architecture, design, installation, painting and sculpture. Its historical precedent is Kurt Schwitters_Merzbau. CARAVAN had a former life as a holiday home, spare room and, latterly, a potting shed. A disintegrated souvenir window sticker of Charles & Dis wedding shows part of its history. Along with the constructed nostalgia of CARAVAN’s bathroom where there are photographs of CARAVAN’s past mounted on traces of its own faded original wallpaper. Elsewhere inside CARAVAN’s interior has been transformed into an Aladdins Cave with every surface saturated in blobs, drips, sprays and swirls of paint. Illusionistic vistas open up as abstract drips cascade over the internal forms and decorative ornaments and trinkets of CARAVAN, creating a strange world, which warps expectations.

On the outside CARAVAN has been wallpapered, making it appear to be turned inside out. CARAVAN changes the ordinary into the extraordinary, inviting us to reconsider the significance and meanings of this humble monument; the caravan.

History and installation

In July CARAVAN had its first opening to the local community in the Ross of Mull where it generated much interest and curiosity. CARAVAN will be open in Fionnphort throughout the exhibition at An Tobar.

The gallery at An Tobar has a film projection of CARAVAN at the gravel pit in Fionnphort. It is an ancestral dreaming with today's technology. An apparition of a shangri-la in the islands.

The gallery also has one wall adorned with wallpaper (sourced from the MESS shop) that have photographs of caravans around Mull printed on it. With the wallpaper installation is a series of small paintings positioned in relation to the photographs of the caravans on the wallpaper.

These paintings are a series called Ornament and are thickly laden with paint and then overlaid with intricately painted wallpaper motifs. These paintings resonate with the paint dripped ornaments of the paint filled interior of CARAVAN. (The wallpaper caravan photos are similar in scale to the ornament paintings)

Projection, installation, painting and photographs offer images that are permanent and fleeting. They document and evoke. This multi media piece seeks to construct a representation of CARAVAN that is not of the vehicle but of its meaning to its disparate occupants.


CARAVAN is phase 1 of a 2-phase project. For a more extensive physical tour CARAVAN would progress to a series enabling a CARAVAN 2. CARAVAN 2 will be capable of being shown almost anywhere, in lay-bys, driveways, gardens and waste grounds as well as in galleries: it operates as a mobile gallery, whether placed inside or out. CARAVAN’s natural home is to be on the move: new locations provoke subtle shifts in CARAVAN’s meaning through exposure to new contexts and audiences, bringing art to local communities.

CARAVAN 2 is to be road worthy and will actually travel; making dreams a reality.

Veronica Slater
October 2008

an tobar gallery text
Multi Media Artwork: Architecture
design, film projection, installation, painting
printmaking, scuplture and photographs
October 2008

exterior . interior . ornaments . paintings . an tobar . farewell . press