Francis Upritchard brings mythical and mystical figures to Nottingham Contemporary

By Mark Sheerin | 14 August 2012
Colour photo of a gallery with a number of colourful figurines on plinths
Francis Upritchard, A Hand of Cards (2012). Installation view© 2012 Andy Keate
Exhibtion: Francis Upritchard - A Hand of Cards, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, until September 30 2012

While Britain’s festival season gets rained out, Francis Upritchard puts another nail in the coffin of the counter-culture. To see miserable hippies this year, there’s no need to watch a band in a muddy field. You could instead simply head for Nottingham.

Flower Power is brought to mind by the psychedelic colours of the New Zealand artist’s figurines. In the late 60s, all we needed was love. But now rather than togetherness, these lone mystics appear to suggest isolation or abandonment.

And so the figures stand around on plinths made by the artist’s husband, Martino Gamper (a master furniture maker). Novelist Ali Smith has also been recruited for an essay in the catalogue. Clearly the artist, who works by hand, is happy enough to collaborate at exhibition stage.

New work in this major show draws on the myths of medieval Nottingham. Plus, certain members of her commune have found their way into the Alfred Kubin show, running in nearby spaces of the same gallery.

These include an unforgettably strange sloth with human hands. So next time it rains in the East Midlands, you know where to go.

  • Open Tuesday-Friday 10am-7pm (6pm Saturday, 11am-5pm Sunday). Admission free.

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