Daphne Wright: Traits of Sidney - Exhibitions
Frith Street Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new sculptures, drawings and video work by Daphne Wright.
Wright is known for her unsettling yet poignant sculptural installations which use a variety of techniques and materials including photography, plaster, tinfoil, sound, voice and video. She has also worked on larger scale public art projects, collaborating with artists across disciplines; architects, writers and theatre professionals to create works which deal with the indescribable.
The central work in the exhibition Stallion is a full size cast of a dead horse. Lying upturned in the gallery space the power and strength of the horse seems to have collapsed with the fall of the animal on the gallery floor. At first sight the composition brings to mind a horse rolling in grass yet, on closer inspection we see the skin of the body has been peeled back revealing sinuous tendons and raw flesh. The familiarity of the animal and its playful association slides into an anatomical study coloured by identifiable emotions.
Equally complex in its layering of suggested meaning is another animal cast – the delicate body of a rhesus monkey. Cast at a Primate Research Centre Wright’s monkey is sensitively displayed lying on its side. The cast holds the body, permanently capturing the flesh in solid form. Covered in a fine layer of embroidered ‘hair’ its face, hands and chest recall the living animal yet the needlework gives a strangeness to the small figure. The face of the animal has been coloured by a painter of religious statues, giving the monkey a touch of the other worldly.
Accompanying the animal casts Wright exhibits a series of male portraits. Delicate washes of blue colour creating ephemeral images.
A new video work by Wright is presented in the gallery’s basement space. In this piece the camera moves slowly across the surface of classical statues carved in marble. From time to time a hand, cheek or thigh move into the frame. The imagery is accompanied by a soundtrack of male and female voices; gutteral and indistinct sounds which seem to struggle with language and the recollection of specific forms and meanings – the beginnings of words, the start of sentences, conversations, and relationships imbue the figures with an emotive connection and function to shift the classical bodies from cold stone to an intimate and human composition.
Hear Daphne Wright discuss her work Plura. Audio courtesy of Altered Images.