This March Freelands Foundation
will present Fault Lines, a group exhibition curated by Edward Ball, Freelands Artist Programme Curator. The show brings together four UK-based artists working in the realm of sculpture; Jonathan Baldock, Alice Channer, Angela de la Cruz and Holly Hendry. The artists were born across four consecutive decades, highlighting an ongoing, and cross-generational, fascination with themes of instability.
The term fault line encompasses both the physical and metaphorical qualities of volatility and fluctuation. As a physical form a fault line is identifiable as a geological boundary or crack in the ground, and as a metaphorical concept, as something weak or precarious. Baldock, Channer, De la Cruz and Hendry all address this sense of tension in their work, both through the material processes that underpin their practice, and in the final sculptural forms produced.
Through diverse approaches hints at figuration, fragile materials and precarious formal constructions collectively the artists consider the fault lines in their materials, allowing emotional and interior states to reach the surface.
Fault Lines comprises predominantly recent work, alongside a 2002 piece by Angela de la Cruz, which was featured in her 2010 Turner Prize exhibition.
Fault Lines connects to a new project being developed between Freelands Foundation and Yorkshire Sculpture International, which brings ten art teachers in London and ten teachers in Yorkshire into dialogue about teaching sculpture in schools.
A parallel public programme will consider the metaphorical resonances of the term fault line, exploring precariousness and rupture, including; Alice Channer in conversation at Freelands Foundation with Edward Ball, discussing her work as well as its relationship to the broader themes of the exhibition and a screening programme of artists moving image, in response to the exhibition.
Jonathan Baldocks works have a biographical focus, addressing themes of trauma, stress, sensuality, mortality, and spirituality in connection to relationships with the body and the space one physically inhabits. Baldock will present two works in Fault Lines , a new ceramic mask piece, which encapsulates the qualities and textures of skin, and a new work, created in response to the themes of the exhibition in line with the artists practice. A solo exhibition by Baldock opens at Camden Arts Centre in April 2019.
Themes of physicality are present in Alice Channers work, whether overtly (metal casts of her own fingers) or subtly (undulating forms resembling spinal chords), all of her pieces reference and celebrate the alchemy of creation. In Channers series Soft Sediment Deformation, the artist manipulates photographs she has taken of the 320-million-year-old Crackington Formation, a section of rapidly eroding sandstone on the Dorset coastline, full of vertical folds and pleats.
Channer compresses and stretches the images, the violence and plasticity of this process is itself an additional kind of erosion. The mutated image is then printed onto a Heavy Crepe de chine silk and pleated. The rocks move from two dimensions, back into three, returning to the world as sculpture. As with the natural world, these processes happen at the limit of our perception.
Angela de La Cruzs Three Legged Chair On Stool, highlights the artists fascination with assemblage, as the two objects appear to hover in an uncomfortable state of collapse. Through its formal properties, the work questions what else might slip? The piece will be shown alongside one of de la Cruzs recent Crate works, in which the audience are confronted by a filing cabinet smashed onto a fragile support. The work hinges on the violent act of forcing forms to fit together. Whereas in Three Legged Chair on Stool the audience agonise over what could happen, in the later piece the viewer encounters the aftermath of an act of brutality. De la Cruzs work holds an autobiographical element, the height of Crate corresponds to the artists height prior to a life changing accident in 2005. In this instance physicality reflects a deeper, personally emotional element.
A fascination with the body and physical form is also present in Holly Hendrys work. Mr Urstoff, 2018, Hendrys most figurative work to date, cuts a macabre figure, splayed out on the gallery floor, as if flattened by an invisible weight. The piece forms part of Hendrys recent GUM SOULS series. Inspired by medical diagrams known as cortical homunculus visual representations of the human body where proportion is linked to sensory function these curiously gruesome depictions of the body find a contemporary parallel with the increasingly popularised phenomenon of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response). ASMR invokes a synesthetic experience an embodied, tingling, endorphin-boosting response to audio-visual stimulus. It is as if Hendry sees ASMR as a sculptural metaphor, distorting scale for sensory effect.