This group show at the Freedlands Foundation brought together four sculptors: Alice Channer, Angela de la Cruz, Holly Hendry and Jonathan Baldock.
Angela de la Cruz’s precarious perched damaged elements that hint at the delicacy of human life. These are spare and elegant structures whose scale and components comfortably reference the human body. The tired stool and damaged chair stand in uneasy and precarious coexistence. Across the room, the smooth metal trough, crumpled and forced to fit into the filing cabinet stoically faces the viewer.
Jonathan Baldock’s ceramic tower also hints at the fragility of life suggesting that the veneer containing our inner most feelings is in danger of rupturing. The wall hung pair of ceramic masks barely contains their hidden thoughts.
The smooth surface of Holly Hendry’s jigsaw sculpture contrasts with the cracks between the assembled shapes and differing materiality of the various elements. The surface of each pieces is always smooth and the changes in depth leads the viewer to reconsider the structures depicted. The addition of the occasional found object adds a light touch of humour.
Alice Channer showed two works in the exhibition. Her floor piece Bonez began its transformation as a garment. Through the lost wax casting technique, a stretch material maxi dress has become two elegant bronze floor pieces. The top surface carries the imprint of the weave, pleats and hems, leaving the viewer in no doubt about the origins of the work. Meanwhile the underside is smooth and reflective. The armholes call to mind the eye of a needle. The disembodied object brings to mind questions of sustainability and longevity which provide a conceptual link to Channer’s wall hung piece Soft Sediment Deformation, Full Body. Images of eroding sandstone is manipulated and digitally printed onto fabric. Pleating imposes another distortion and bring the fabric into the realm of sculpture. The title brings together both the source of the imagery and the body, alluding transformation, ageing and decay.
All the pieces sat comfortably within the overall theme, each artist suggesting disjunction and deficiency through their work. The small but perfectly formed exhibition was a delight to visit, the works setting up interesting dialogues and I came away with many questions and some answers.