At first glance, Slinkachu’s scenes might appear to be a heap of multi-colored pills or a mess of children’s toys left behind on a London street corner. Closer inspection, however, reveals minuscule figures navigating human-sized items as if they occupy an alternate, miniature world occurring in sidewalk alcoves and planter boxes. Characters find themselves in a sea of medication that’s reminiscent of arcade ball pits, while others create a tower to fend off a nearby bee that’s triple each of their heights. Imbued with humor, the site-specific scenes often comment on contemporary social issues.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slinkachu (previously) has shifted to creating works in his home to minimize exposure to passersby. Although many of his projects were canceled or postponed, the Natural History Museum commissioned both the mushroom and bee works shown below for its Urban Nature project, a biologically diverse green space in central London. “My work has always reflected the sense of isolation and loneliness that a big city can imbue, but the isolation of being inside is new to me,” he shares with Colossal. “These were recreations of small parts of city streets built in my living room with concrete paving slabs and weeds and moss.” The shift in venue has the British artist reconsidering parts of his practice:
It was a bit surreal recreating the outside world inside, but it has opened up new possibilities for me to create narrative images. By experimenting with mixing miniature sets and photographic backdrops, I’ve had many ideas about creating images that are not always possible to create outside on a real street without digital manipulation. It is different from my usual street work but a new avenue to explore.
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