Laura Ford, Wrecker 10, 2003, mixed media
Laura Ford is one of the foremost female sculptors currently working in Britain. Ford's work has recently been shown at the ICA, London and The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut.
Houldsworth presents Laura Ford's sculptural installation 'Wreckers', exhibited earlier this year at Beaconsfiled gallery. Around the imposing figure of a balaclavered woman adorned with Russian Military medals are children, or so they may appear, but their head to toe coverings give no glimpse of human flesh. Ringing with Morris dancer bells and strapped with cloth bombs their presence is poignant and threatening. Ford once again creates a theatre of the absurd that plays out political history and family history at the same time. Uncomfortably, there seems to be no moral that we can take from these suicide bomber children. Wrecker's suggests that the concept of childhood innocence is dangerously simplistic, as is the misnoma of a sagacious adult world of politics and reason.
"Ford draws implicitly on the paradox that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, simultaneously heroic and villainous depending on one's point of view. In manipulating our discomfort, whether it is over the posthumous defiance of a youthful suicide bomber or the fact that our own children like to play at war, Ford's work is an intoxicating critique of a simplistic view of the world, and a reminder of the consequences of such naivety."
Gavin Bower, Flux magazine, 2004
In 2003/2004 Ford has exhibited at the Aldrich Museum, Connecticut, ICA. London, Manchester City Art Gallery, Aberstwyth Art Centre, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Beaconsfield Gallery, London, The Dick Institute Irealnd, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea. Ford's work is in many collections including Tate, London and the Arts Council of Great Britain.