Spill is a site-specific installation by Canadian artist Jeannie Thib that transforms the space it encompasses with its beautifully historic Dutch damask-inspired designs. In 2002, the installation took over two floors of the De Overslag gallery in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Using black landscaping cloth, the installation features one long trail of floral patterns that expands with distance.
Starting at the upper level of the gallery, the installation is a mere 1 cm in width. Winding around itself and making its way down to the lower level of the space, Spill gradually grows to an overwhelming 6 meters wide. While presenting its intriguingly dark floral motif, the installation intends to draw attention to the hazardous expansion of toxic spills and other unnatural disasters that plague areas with disregard for environmental safety.
Rather than boasting a colorful and vibrant array of flowers, the installation is purposely veiled in a black silhouette, echoing the imposing glimmer of an oil spill. The range in size between the source of the “spill” and the pool that has metaphorically amassed at the lower level is exceptionally devastating. The installation’s statement comments: “This volume and scale contrast with the ideal of order and beauty proposed by the original textile design and suggest a reading of ornament as threatening and disturbing.”