Alan Storey was born in British Columbia,
Canada in 1960. He received his BFA from the University of Victoria in 1982 and has since
exhibited all over North America and Europe. Both in the public and contemporary art spheres,
Storey has received numerous commissons for his sculptural works. As mediated by both
the act of perception and the architecture of environment, Storey’s work deeply relates
to human behavior and it’s interaction with the environment. In fact – he is best known
for his remarkable public sculptures which interact with architecture and public space.
One of the best known is the sculpture which dominates the lower levels of the HSBC bank
in Vancouver – a gargantuan pendulum whose movement is activated by the movement of air
through the buildings air circulation system. The more you explore his work – the more you
realize precisely how integral this is to the understanding of his work. For the last 20 years Storey has developed
a series of ‘drawing machines;’ these are devices that record traces of human activity
in a specific environment. In ‘Device for Drawing the Movements of a Ballerina,’ the
drawing machine traces out the dancer’s movements across the stage over several evenings of
performance. While transcribing the trajectory of the ballerina upon paper, the machine distills
and extracts the physicality of the performance through its reduction to the simplicity of
lines. Similarly Storey’s ‘Handle with Care’ records movements within a volatile enviroment.
A shipping container with six hinged sides and a gessoed interior, ‘Handle with Care’
contains a moveable carriage holding a specially designed pen used by NASA for extraterrestiral
excursions. Within the context of a moving vehicle, the box itself becomes a passive
drawing machine. The vibrations, acceleration and braking of the storage vehicle (a transport
truck) become the gestural source for the completed piece.