Mach Makes Magic With Matchheads At Glasgow Gallery Of Modern Art

By Mark McLaughlin | 16 May 2002

Left: matchhead

Burnt out, rusted cars sit amongst a pile of old newspapers in the heart of Glasgow town centre. People gather round to stare, not in disdain but in awe.

It's not a scrapheap or the site of some terrible road accident, but the centrepiece of the new David Mach exhibition, Hell Bent, at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow till September 29.

This 50-ton sculpture, Bangers and Mash, took three weeks, four cars and 150,000 newspapers to create especially for the exhibition.

Right: Bangers and Mash, 2002.

"There's an ordeal aspect to these things," said Mach, in the Glasgow Herald. "There are bits and pieces that I like a lot - some overhangs and some really intricate, fast moving bits that give it a good shape."

Right: Arm's Length

Also on display is Arms Length, a striking eight-foot nude made from hundreds of nickel-plated wire coat hangers, and the celebrated coat hanger sculpture Spaceman, modelled on Neil Armstrong's moonwalk.

Right: not a happy bear.

Mach mixes art with dark humour with Grizzly Little F******s, a series of fierce looking teddy bears tooled-up with kitchen devices, and their big brother Armed and Extremely Dangerous is a six-foot stuffed grizzly bear armed with stone-cutting tools.

Left: flamethrower man

Six of his animal match-head sculptures are also on display, epitomising the transient nature of Mach's work. Most of his match-head sculptures go up in flames, and his first major public work, a Polaris submarine made from 6,000 tyres, was destroyed by an arsonist, who was killed in the resulting fire.

So what will become of Bangers and Mash at the end of the exhibition?"The newspapers will be dismantled and recycled," said a museum guide. "And the cars will go back to the dump!"

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