Animated after a brief introduction Nigel Coates stands centre stage gesticulating to a darkened auditorium as he introduces the basis of a creative life he constantly reviews with a passion for structure, sensuality and irony. His visions take many forms, the feel of a saddle, the warmth of its leather and it’s construction. Dissected, he places a theme into another setting… in this case a seating arena! His models of cityscapes are cluttered with mundane objects, Mixtacity his 2007 installation featured chess piece’s effectively painted unexpected colours, big old hands erupting skywards. He pays ‘kitsch’ a homage with an absolute nod and a wink, a cutesy bear picked up in a market towering over melty mesh buildings and sweeping nirvana’s. He admires craft and tradition and then mutates it with the flick of a switch. It’s precisely this urge to twist and test function that amuses his creative eye. Coates’ descriptive rhetoric when dissecting his thought process is as alluring as the final product. ‘Fleshy and vibrant’, Coates looks at things with an innocence that belies his 60 odd years on the planet. Fascinating both himself and the listener he employs a collage of imagery into the drama of city living.
Pulling out ‘Ecstacity’ his 2003 book and harping back to his NATO (Narrative Architecture Today) years back in the in the 80’s you get a real sense of transition and honesty, ‘industrial baroque’ was the term they devised then. He uses everything around him to create a harmony of comfort and beauty. He’s intrigued by human reaction, ‘clash and incident’. Urbanscapes and additions to existing buildings are swervy routes realised through paintings, drawings and finally ‘real life’ constructions.
Photo- Princess Julia