Ruth Claxton: Ocularspectacular (Seated Peasant)
Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present the inaugural commission for The Box by artist Ruth Claxton. The Box, specially designed by Simon Dance Design, is a project space consisting of a floating white cube set inside a black vertical opening. It is a unique architectural space through which the gallery will engage in new conversations with important emerging and established artists. Invited artists are commissioned to make an artwork specifically for The Box.
Ruth Claxton has produced a new sculpture which reconfigures our relationship with the space. Amorphous configurations of clay and mirrored surfaces appear to grow around the head of a seated ceramic figure. Producing microcosmic reflections of the black and white voids that surround it, Claxton's sculpture explores the relationship between the real and the virtual, material and surface, object and image, space and non-space.
In and through its physical presence, Claxton's sculpture demands a close reading. The piece reveals itself over time, fluctuating between yielding and dematerialising its 'presence' as an object. Using her large structural landscapes of steel, mirror and glass as a starting point, this piece develops Claxton's recent installations of smaller figurative pieces set within these territories. In Ocularspectacular (Seated Peasant), the figure itself becomes almost topographical, rendered and revealed through and as part of its environment.
Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Site Santa FE, USA; Spike Island, Bristol; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Grundy Gallery, Blackpool; Oriel Davies, Newtown, Wales; Faye Fleming and Partner, Geneva, Switzerland; and Ingleby, Edinburgh. Other shows and projects include Undone, HenryMoore Institute, Leeds; Remake, Remodel, National Glass Centre, Sunderland; The Figurine Dialogue, Crystal Palace, Stockholm, Sweden; Known Unknowns, Gallery Loop, Seoul, Korea; Back of the Head, Cooper Art Gallery, Dundee; Daybreakers, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; and An Archaeology, 176, London. She has recently completed public art works for Situations (Wonders of Weston, Weston Supermare) and Meadow Arts (House of Beasts, Attingham Park). She is an Associate director of Eastside Projects - artist led space as public gallery for Birmingham.