Past exhibition

Bill Woodrow

Sculptures 1981–1988
23 March–3 May 2011

Waddington Galleries are pleased to announce an exhibition of 1980s sculptures by British artist, Bill Woodrow. Woodrow came to prominence in the early 1980s with his 'cut-out' sculptures, discarded household appliances which had been "recycled" and given new life. This exhibition includes nineteen 'cut-out' sculptures, dating from 1981 to 1988.

In 1981, having previously made sculptures of extended bicycle frames, Woodrow made a replica bicycle frame, cut from the skin of an old spin dryer. Spin Dryer with Bicycle Frame, 1981, became the first sculpture where Woodrow manipulated and transformed the metal surface of a discarded household appliance, without detaching it, into another, familiar object. The metal exterior of an old spin dryer is cut away, twisted and bent to create the bicycle frame, which emerges from the original form. The host object remains identifiable, whilst the silhouette on the spin dryer reveals how the metal was carefully cut and peeled back.

In Car Door, Armchair and Incident, 1981, the metal from a cut-out car door becomes a shot gun. In turn, an old, battered armchair is blasted and a violent explosion of armchair debris hits the wall and floor behind, linked by a continuous thread of metal and fabric, implying an ominous narrative. As Julia Kelly comments "car leads to gun, chair leads to shooting" . This work was a response to the various images of violence Woodrow saw in the media "on a very domestic level or much more militarist, or at a street level."

Whilst Woodrow used found materials from the street and rubbish dumps as they cost nothing, he was also concerned with using these materials because they were from his "life, […] environment, and have some accessibility because of that. They are exciting to use because they are unpredictable." Woodrow was energized by these varied and unconventional materials and the associations conjured up by them.

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