Small Sculptures in a Large Place:
A selection of small artworks by Craig Fisher, Jonathan Kipps, Laura Keeble, Lauren O’Grady, Lauren Wilson & Teal Griffin.
Mixed media sculptures that question representations of violence, disaster and macho stereotypes
‘Homemade Devices’ (2013-16) are an ongoing series of sculptural objects inspired by images of improvised explosive devices found whilst trawling the Internet. The works explore the formal inventiveness and provisionality of such objects employing a variety of craft processes in their production as well as considering their potent potential as representational objects of threat and danger. What makes these objects fascinating and curious is that they are comic and ominous. Ideas of filmic or cartoon violence are juxtaposed with decorative motifs and craft techniques from textiles; the sense of saturation at play in the work makes it easy to miss the horror due to the seductive nature and materiality of the artwork.
Rolled, folded, creased and crumpled paper sculptures covered with patterns that, at once, accentuate and confuse our perception of the shape underneath
My practice has two core elements. The first involves wrapping, rolling, folding, creasing and crumpling paper so that it becomes a container for a hollow space. I try to shift the way forms are perceived by manipulating their surfaces through various forms of mark making. For example I might use spray paint to accentuate shadows and light areas before re-shaping an object, or rubbings to confuse how we read an over all form. I also utilise casting techniques with materials such as cement or bronze to provide a contrast to the fragility and weightlessness of the paper pieces. There is an immediacy to these smaller works which is very important and I want them to speak in terms of weight, materiality, density, surface and the idea that what is inside and unseen can affect our perception of an object as much as the characteristics immediately visible on the surface.
The second strand to my work incorporates similar ideas of wrapping and concealment, but uses building materials to create interventions far more linked to the architecture and therefore also the function of the spaces they are shown in. Building industry methods of construction are re-appropriated to make objects that occupy a middle ground between artwork and architectural structure or façade and together with the room itself, create an environment for the smaller individual objects to operate within.
My approach to using a space often starts with taking photographs of the empty room and then drawing or painting over the top of the printed pictures. The way a drawn shape can equally be perceived as a void or physical object, heavily influences the way I think about showing my work. Painting over large sections of a room with black paint has become quite a direct physical extension of these ideas and enables me to take ownership of the more awkward or redundant areas within a room (such as around doors, cupboards and pipes), bringing them into the exhibition as active components.
The work is an investigation of magical objects, power, value and iconography.
"I am interested in creating a pause. A brief moment in time, when a double-take allows for an internal question, a need to assess or understand. I use symbolism and familiarities of the everyday to question what is dictated to us."
Fabricated models of scenarios and artefacts, fictions created from remembered imagery.
"I fabricate models of scenarios and artefacts, the imagery compiled and accumulated from memory. Borrowing the languages already established in model making, cinematography, art and architecture a shift between the familiar and the unfamiliar is set into motion. Whilst navigating a world of contradictions I weave narratives and create fictions. In dealing with notions of futility and collapse I discover speculation and a place for hopeful optimism."
"I look for quietly political moments to sculpt into a new context. A horse diving from a great height, a miniature ivory statue of Venus, the mysterious appearance of a doughnut on Mars. I narrate digressions from these points. Tangents that are directed by obsession, intuition and pareidolia. My work is led by research; letters to a prisoner on death row, a conversation with a philatelist, and most recently, meeting with a fortune teller. These ideas are realised as complex installations which amalgamate into many hand made elements. The materials I choose are unlimited, usually selected for their enigmatic qualities. Thames pipe, pigs blood, gold, light, dental floss, shellac, milk powder."
Inter-disciplinary, eclectic compositions through which absurdity and humour knock the themes of mortality and masculinity off-kilter
Teal Griffin creates non-hierarchical compositions through a range of different media; the act of making becomes an interdisciplinary process through which conceptual and formal ideas are played out. Much of the work is rooted in the absurd: constellations of seemingly disparate, precisely made objects and images, which appear both familiar yet displaced. Absurdity and humour knock the more serious undertones off-kilter. Whilst drawing on a personal narrative, Teal Griffin’s recent work has been concerned with wider ideas around masculinity, its construct and its fallibility and, more specifically, themes of mortality, the frailty of the body, and the epic. Classical ideas of the hero and the hegemonic are cast into doubt: the certainties associated with traditional male heroism become uncertainties. He is interested in subtly removing preconceived notions of power and exploring how classically ‘manly’ virtues of strength, decisiveness and control can be disabled.
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