28/03/2009 — 9/05/2009

Ruth Claxton

Lands End

Ruth Claxton, 'Lands End', installation Grundy Art Gallery

photo: Jonathan Lynch

 Ruth Claxton has become widely known for her constructed installations populated with altered porcelain figurines. Collected from car-boot sales, junk shops and internet auction sites, Claxton conceals the eyes or heads of these figures with colourful protuberances or organic growths made from sequins, ribbons, and objects of stationery; their vision obscured by the very materiality of the world which surrounds them.

For this exhibition, Claxton presented a new large-scale installation: a sprawling landscape of fabricated, painted steel display stands of differing heights inhabited by the artist’s sightless figurines. Sequences of metal hoops provide areas of visual density, and are stacked and appear precariously balanced. Some contain coloured and mirrored glass discs creating a visual complex environment, implicating the viewer through endless reflection, immersing and enveloping them into this constructed landscape.

The installation immersed the viewer in a world that exemplifies Claxton’s preoccupation with different versions of reality, including the virtual. Acting as a metaphor for our increasing engagement with information technology, Claxton’s work considers our shift towards a potentially more individualistic and dislocated society. As this future evolves, Claxton questions what impact passive consumption and such insulation from reality will have on the way we understand, interpret and question the world we live in.


Installation images from Ruth Claxton Lands End can be seen here.

Exhibition organised by Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and kindly supported by the Arts Council England Touring Programme, and The Henry Moore Foundation.