April Key: Ocean Drive

30 March - 31 May 2022
  • April Key

  • Crossing the boundaries between art and design, Istanbul-based British artist April Key crafts vibrant and unique light objects that bring timeless energy.  Her creations aim to invoke a special sensation to the observer resulting in a lasting impression. This viewing room presents key pieces from the artist's celebrated Ocean Drive Collectiona limited series of neon sculptures, alongside most recent work from the studio.  These works highlight Key's interest in building new forms and environments through exploring classical design and reimagining traditional techniques. Key's background and training in architecture (B.A., Edinburgh College of Art) provides firm foundation and inspiration for her interdisciplinary practice.  

     

  • "My work revolves around two subjects - architecture and light.

     

    I come from an architectural background, and one thing I really love about architecture is how daylight would transform and interact with the buildings - completely changing how they look from morning to night.

     

    For me that transformative narrative is art in itself, and I really hope to evoke that with my projects."

     

    -- April Key

  • Temple, 2021, Neon, plexiglass
    Temple, 2021, Neon, plexiglass
    Temple, 2021, Neon, plexiglass
    Temple, 2021, Neon, plexiglass

    Temple, 2021

    Neon, plexiglass

    20 1/2 x 35 1/2 x 7 1/2 in
    52 x 90 x 18 cm
    Edition of 7

  • Building on April Key's architectural influences, this work is inspired by the Old Temple of Athena, located on the Acropolis...

    Old Temple of Athena, Greece. Image courtesy: Wikipedia.

    Building on April Key's architectural influences, this work is inspired by the Old Temple of Athena, located on the Acropolis of Athens. The flow of the curves mimics the vast riches of temples past, saturating the open space below with vibrant colors. The journey through the arches of ‘Archaic Temple’, with its changing light, exhibits the power of the neon gas, where five distinct colors merge to radiate a kaleidoscope of intricate gradients. This piece serves as a complement and in juxtaposition to the artist's signature Ocean Drive Collection. It demonstrates how contemporary design can be inspired by ancient yet timeless architectural forms - reimagined for the 21st century. The delightful work is a visual example of how the evolution of design, aesthetics and architecture can be presented in a continuous narrative.

  • "I try to present a feeling of joy and curiosity with my work, to create an escapism from the modern world and to spark imagination in the viewer.  I like the idea that when someone looks at my objects, they can almost envision a tiny version of themselves walking in and around the sculpture, and having enjoyment in that environment."

     

    -- April Key

  • Miami Negatives

  • The Ocean Drive Collection, which draws upon bold colors and architecture associated with the Art Deco era, is a limited series of neon sculptures. The project was born when April Key discovered a large series of lost 1950s Kodachrome negatives at a flea market in Istanbul. The film revealed a stunning narrative of a Turkish couple who moved to Miami in the early 1950s, bought a Cadillac and took it cruising through the USA. The architectural emphasis and energy of this lost archive was used as the key inspiration, taking its features and embedding them into each light piece to create a modern-retro futuristic city-scape. 

  • April Key, Harvey's Bar, 2021

    Harvey's Bar, 2021

    Plexiglass, neon

    11 1/2 x 13 x 8 in
    28 x 33 x 20 cm
    Edition of 7

  • April Key, Sunset Diner, 2021

    Sunset Diner, 2021

    Plexiglass, neon

    9 1/2 x 15 x 13 1/2 in
    24.1 x 38.1 x 34.3 cm
    Edition of 7

  • April Key, Villa Cabana, 2021

    Villa Cabana, 2021

    Plexiglass, neon

    15 1/2 x 10 1/4 x 11 3/4 in
    39.4 x 26 x 29.8 cm
    Edition of 7

  • How It's Made How It's Made How It's Made How It's Made How It's Made

    How It's Made

    The collection is primarily constructed out of laser cut plexiglass, sprayed down to a matte white finish. The handmade glass neon, carefully blown by highly experienced ateliers in Istanbul, has a lifespan of up to 20 years, after which the transformer (power supply) can be replaced for continued use. Each piece is wired to be plugged into any grounded 3-prong US electrical outlet.

  • April Key

    April Key

    British artist and designer April Key has been based in Istanbul, Turkey since 2013. Key's background and training in architecture (B.A., Edinburgh College of Art) provides firm foundation and inspiration for her interdisciplinary practice. Key maintains her workshop in the trendy Moda neighborhood of Istanbul, where she crafts vibrant and unique light objects that bring timeless energy.  Her creations are focused on crossing the boundaries between art and design, aiming to invoke a special sensation to the observer resulting in a lasting impression.