top of page

Cool Warm Hot !! : Andrew Lacon, Amba Sayal-Bennett, Ruth Murray


Andrew Lacon, Amba Sayal-Bennett, Ruth Murray

Marble is rich and irresistible, explored here in the third of five shows working with artists concerned with materials and change*.

For artists and architects marble has long been a material that denotes a higher value and status, perhaps not surprising given the inconceivable vast planetary processes of metamorphic action that are required for its creation. The moving of convergent tectonic plates, whole land masses to make marble from limestone. A reverse transmogrify from the ordinary plain dusty rock taken down into purgatory to rise again as this veined, silken and ice-like stone. Or is it the idea of metamorphosis itself that captivates us; from Ovid to Kafka, two millennia of arts and literature have displayed and recounted our inherent desire for change or revolution.

Andrew Lacon works with sculpture and imagery to question how materials are understood and valued in different contexts and historical periods, particularly in relation to public display. Concerned with the perceived value and revalorisation of art and its audience, Lacon believes sculpture and photography are intrinsically linked. In his Reproduction of Sculpture series, Lacon explores the paradox between the image, the object and its display or representation; with each iteration of the work being a reproduction and information deteriorating. The sculpture has been a focal point of photographic activity since the invention of photography in 1839. Today, as then, there remains a disjuncture between display and experience, and photographic representation of sculptural objects. Taking the Belvedere Apollo as inspiration Lacon seeks to reinforce the intrinsic and aesthetic values of the original sculptures, which are seen within the photographs. The works are an attempt to reintroduce sculptural qualities that are often lost in the process of documentation.

Amba Sayal-Bennett’s video Empire V is a short animation created using Google SketchUp. As the camera flows from different points within the virtual model, angular forms and terrazzo-cladding structures slowly come into focus. Sayal-Bennett is interested in how architectural models can be used as tools for imagining. Having recently completed a residency at the British School of Rome focusing on architectural legacies of empire, she is interested in how fascist architecture incorporated materials such as travertine and marble to connect it to imperial Rome.

Ruth Murray presents two paintings and two ceramic pots, in the paintings ‘Pope’s Den’ and ‘Santa Maria Maggiore’, the model, Tess is a technician from Utah working at the ceramics studio in Rome, she sits in an alcove in one of the seven Papal churches, encased by her surroundings. Murray uses pattern and light to transform tangible objects into pliable masses and shifting forms. Here the dynamic patterns in the marble vie for centre stage, the masoned stone is a simmering constellation of history and grandeur, leaving a stationary, solitary protagonist seeming distant, bored, trapped or lost.

* The #1 exhibition was entitled Fugazi with Andrew Lacon, Jasleen Kaur, #2 Microplastics Rain Down from the Sky, Edward Clydesdale-Tomson, Hilary Jack, S.Mark Gubb

bottom of page