Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art

James Yamada at Parasol unit

James Yamada, “The summer shelter retreats darkly among the trees,” 2011.
Parasol unit installation view.
Photo: Stephen White.

James Yamada at Parasol unit

James Yamada
The summer shelter retreats darkly among the trees
Parasolstice – Winter Light 2011
23 November 2011–18 March 2012

Parasol unit
14 Wharf Road

London N1 7RW

Gallery opening hours:
Monday: by prior arrangement
Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sunday, 12–5 p.m.
Admission: Free

www.parasol-unit.org

Inaugurating Parasolstice – Winter Light, a series of outdoor projects to be realised by various international artists, The summer shelter retreats darkly among the trees by American artist James Yamada is a dramatic installation in the foundation’s outdoor space.

The aluminium structure of Yamada’s installation both shelters visitors from bad weather and offers them some privacy. Integrated into its rooftop are 28 light elements at 10,000 lux, which is the sunlight-mimicking intensity referred to as ‘full spectrum light’. This is the light commonly used in light therapy to treat the symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). First identified in 1984, SAD affects people in various regions of the world where, especially during the winter months, a lack of sunlight can cause depression, loss of energy and sleep deprivation. Exposing an individual to certain wavelengths of full spectrum light is recognised by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to be a highly beneficial treatment for SAD. The focus of The summer shelter retreats darkly among the trees is to involve visitors in an uplifting and insightful experience. During the darkest months of the year, they are encouraged to enjoy the benefits of exposure to bright light.

James Yamada has forged a reputation for making ingenious constructions that create encounters between nature and technology. In The summer shelter retreats darkly among the trees the artist highlights how recent technology benefits mankind by helping to prevent illness. The issue of satisfying human interest in and dependency on technology is all-pervasive in Yamada’s work and epitomised in The summer shelter retreats darkly among the trees.
James Yamada, born 1967 in North Carolina, USA, now lives and works in New York.

The exhibition is generously supported by Arts Council England.

Forthcoming events:
Thursday 8 December 2011, 6:30 pm
Parasol Cinema: Future Shorts Festival
The Future Shorts Festival is the biggest pop up film festival of its kind, showcasing the most exciting short films from around the world. Parasol unit is delighted to host this screening of six short films by international filmmakers.
For further details and programme information please visit: www.futureshorts.com

Friday 9 December 2011, 6:30 pm
Parasol Cinema: Future Shorts Festival
A second screening of the Future Shorts Festival as detailed above (please note this is a repeat screening).

About Parasol unit:
Founded in December 2004, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is a registered educational charity in England and Wales and a not-for-profit institution that operates purely for the public benefit. Every year the foundation organises four thought-provoking exhibitions of works in various media by contemporary artists, and also sets up a variety of other artistic projects. Each exhibition is accompanied by a publication and related educational events. The foundation does not bear the founder’s name, and its exhibitions are not derived from the founder’s collection. Admission to exhibitions is free of charge.

Parasol unit operates like publicly funded institutions in London. Currently about 60% of the funding is provided by the founder and 40% through Gift Aid, charitable organisations, private donations and the sale of merchandise. The exhibition space has been put at the disposal of the foundation free of charge by the founder. Thanks to this new model between private funding and public support one of London’s most vibrant contemporary art spaces has come to exist.

James Yamada at Parasol unit