Laura Ford Exhibition

On Tuesday 15th of March I went to one of Laura Ford’s  exhibitions at the Abbott Hall in Kendal. This specific exhibition was called “Seen and Unseen” and from what i saw I’d say that her work represents fantasy with sometimes bitter sweet and creepy qualities but they can be quite calm. She uses humor and her knowledge of the current agendas  to engage with the wider social and political issues. she is a very skilled sculpture and works on her work intensely but she is playful with it, and she has used a range of medias to build up and to create her sculptures and other pieces including, drawing, painting and performance.

For her sculptures that we saw she used a wide variation of materials such as bronze, plaster, clay, modroc, many different paints, pieces of clothing and a big variation in fabrics. She’s also really thought hard about where the sculptures should be placed for example for the “Three ladies” has been placed on a trifecta stand right in from of a curved three piece window so it all links together. she had a narrow empty room for the penguins worked well because it meant that they were all quite compact, if they were all spread out it wouldn’t have the same effect. She was also really smart with the two girls. The two girls seem really sad and upset with their heads drooping and a rock in one of the hands, and they are facing a painting of really happy children so it’s as if they are even more upset, angry and jealous of the children in the painting. Its as if she’s thinking about throwing the rock at the painting out of rage.

two pieces of the work made me feel quite comfortable which were the two girls and the room of children dressed as penguins. That’s because they seemed so lifelike, as if there were children actually underneath the costumes and that they are going to start moving at any moment. Some of the work makes me feel sorry for the characters in the piece such as the begging hedgehog, the homeless squirrels and the women in blue that is part of the couples section. Its obvious why I feel sorry for the Squirrels and the Hedgehog but I’m sorry for the Women because it seems like she is a victim of an abusive relationship. The man has his hand draped over her as if he’s holding something that he owns so it’s clearly not a equality relationship, and you can’t see it from my images but he has a boxing glove on one hand which symbolizes violence. She is also holding a sock/tight that has a bar of soap or a brick in it which could be self defense as she does look like she’s cowering from him.

Laura Ford grew up in a travelling fair ground family up to the age of sixteen and a few of her family members were alcoholics so the whole abusive relationship in her work and poverty is conveyed across very well and I think these ideas and pieces are based on her background.

as she is a sculpture and I’m basing my project on graphic design it was difficult to take any inspiration away from her work. But I do like the way she does her sketches and drawings, like in the second image below of the bear, because its simplistic and not too complicated which is what I need for my animation so I can make lots of frames without spending too much time on the drawing.

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