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Goddy Leye’s installation Papa Forest at the Royal Festival Hall has been developed during his two month residency at Gasworks and has been informed by his travels and experiences of tourism during his stay as well as his ongoing interest in the construction of cultural identity.

Presented in a public area of the festival hall, Papa Forest from its outset appears to be an empty plinth however on closer inspection visitors will discover small spyholes, one on each of its four sides. By inviting visitors to peer into the box Leye constructs the possibility for a private meeting place which excludes the physical presence of both the viewer’s body and the plinths structure, inverting its typical art historical narrative.

In the work, Leye is keen to engage with the curious passer-by, drawing them into this self-contained and unexpected spectacle. Inside the piece viewers are confronted with an infinitely mirrored space reflecting film footage shot by Leye of London’s tourist hot spots alongside a small Cameroonian sculpture typically bought by tourists in Leye’s native country. In this playful combination of motifs and imagery Leye considers the surface iconography of cultures whilst also continuing his interest in representations of Africa.

For more information about Goddy Leyes practice: see the webpage