Artist Laura’s Bed­time Boy goes on show

Southport Visiter - - Nostalgia -

THE Atkin­son is dis­play­ing its new­est ac­qui­si­tion, Bed­time Boy 1, by artist Laura Ford as part of a ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion.

Why Look At An­i­mals ex­am­ines how our re­la­tion­ship with an­i­mals has changed and fea­tures a wide range of an­i­mal paint­ings and sculp­tures by lead­ing Bri­tish artists from the past 200 years.

The pur­chase of the new sculp­ture was funded by the Friends of The Atkin­son and grants from The Art Fund and the ACE/V&A Pur­chase Grant Fund.

Stephen Whit­tle, mu­seum and gallery man­ager, said: “Bed­time Boy 1 is a piece that at­tracts peo­ple with vary­ing en­gage­ment in the arts, and is en­joyed by ev­ery­one.

“This piece at­tracts a con­tem­po­rary au­di­ence and we hope it will in­spire a new gen­er­a­tion of vis­i­tors into the Gal­leries.

“It will fea­ture in fu­ture col­lec­tions-based dis­plays that ex­am­ine the va­ri­ety of tech­ni­cal means open to artists as well as the range of emo­tions that their work can evoke.

“We are de­lighted with the new piece and al­ready we have had a fan­tas­tic re­sponse from the vis­i­tors and the staff who have taken him in as one of their own.”

As a child, Ford trav­elled the fair­ground cir­cuit and spent a great deal of her child­hood at her grand­mother’s farm, which had once been a zoo and con­tained a wide va­ri­ety of an­i­mals.

These early in­flu­ences played a large part in her de­vel­op­ment as an artist. As art stu­dent she cre­ated a “menagerie” of an­i­mal sculp­tures and she has con­tin­ued to cre­ate work cen­tred on an­thro­po­mor­phised an­i­mals and chil­dren.

Ford said Bed­time Boy is “stand­ing stock still, like a statue in slip­pers and py­ja­mas, over which he is wear­ing a dress­ing gown. His pos­ture is one of ex­pectancy, both arms be­hind his back, with a quizzi­cal in­cline to his head”.

As with many of her an­i­mals, the ele­phant has no fa­cial fea­tures.

His char­ac­ter and per­son­al­ity is con­veyed en­tirely from his pos­ture un­der­lin­ing the fact that Ford is es­sen­tially a fig­u­ra­tive sculp­tor – whether the fig­ure it­self is hu­man or not.

In­spired by Sur­re­al­ism and film cul­ture, she cites David Lynch, Jean Cocteau and Werner Her­zog as key in­flu­ences, and mixes hu­mour with melan­choly and a sense of men­ace.

She is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in the theme of look­ing or be­ing looked at, with many of her hu­man or an­thro­po­mor­phic fig­ures try­ing to con­ceal their faces or dis­guise them­selves as trees and an­i­mals.

Her work is play­ful, but also ad­dresses a range of so­cial and po­lit­i­cal is­sues; her fig­ures of­ten seem iso­lated or dis­tanced from so­ci­ety.

Ele­phant Boy 1 will be on dis­play in the ex­hi­bi­tion Why Look At An­i­mals un­til March 2018.

Bed­time Boy 1 by Laura Ford is on show in the Gal­leries at The Atkin­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.