Collapsed Sculpture by Hannah Greely, 2003. Courtesy Wolsey Art Gallery.
Time, matter and the imaginary are the subject of the current exhibition at Wolsey Art Gallery in Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich. Entitled Waste Material, the show is curated by leading British artist David Musgrave and will run until February 26, 2006.
New work by the curator (whose solo show, ‘art now’, was at Tate Britain in 2003) and his contemporaries, including sculpture and prints, is displayed alongside a 19th century lithograph by Georg Scharf, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London.
The lithograph, Duria antiquior (c.1830), features a prehistoric seascape with creature-infested waters and pterodactyls flying in the sky. This is clearly an imaginary vision of a time before homo sapiens dominated the globe.
Paper Golem No. 3 by David Musgrave, 2005. Courtesy Wolsey Art Gallery.
Going by the sharp teeth of one creature, which are being sunk into the neck of what appears to be a miniature swimming dinosaur, this was an age when reptiles and sharks ruled the earth. In fact, the print was made after a drawing by geologist Henry de la Beche based on fossil evidence of prehistoric life.
Hannah Greely’s Assembly, a papier-mâché stepladder dotted with handmade insects, points in a different direction – to a future where humans are no longer the number one force, if present at all. The delicate butterflies, however, are rather more gentle than Scharf’s crocodiles and pterodactyls.
Assembly by Hannah Greely, 2001. Courtesy Wolsey Art Gallery.
Also featured is a surreal 1940s drawing by Yves Tanguy, which implies another oceanic scene. The odd forms depicted here suggest a sinking ship, but the apparent life forms aren’t recognisably human. The same goes for David Musgrave’s drawings. His sculpture Paper Golem takes a scrap of material and reshapes it in a way that implies a life-form, but retains abstraction.
Rupert Norfolk’s Leaf sculpture shares this indeterminacy of form, while William Daniels and Clare Stephenson similarly nod to art styles of the past in their paintings and drawings, creating mutations that are new.
Three local artists working with found objects and waste materials have also been invited to exhibit their own responses to the theme, under the heading In-disposable.
Saint Dominic with the Cricifix by William Daniels, 2003. Courtesy Wolsey Art Gallery.
Neil Hangar makes sculptural installations out of corrugated card, inspired by piles of cardboard thrown out in the street by shops. Nicola Burrell utilises cardboard, too, but incorporates it instead into landscape paintings of Clacton for In-disposable.
Not just throwaway objects, but throwaway ideas feature in Alex Pearl’s video pieces. His recent work is on display, which includes things discovered in skips with old jokes!
Waste Material has been organised in collaboration with The Drawing Room, London.