Past exhibition


Bill Woodrow: New Sculpture and Painting
28 October–22 November 2008

Waddington Galleries are pleased to announce an exhibition of new sculpture and painting by British artist Bill Woodrow. The exhibition includes ten sculptures and ten paintings, which together show Woodrow expanding his personal imagery. In the sculpture Illuminator A, a bronze bust, with eyes closed, placed atop a thin stem rising from a round base, is painted alabaster white. It is surrounded by a navy blue cylindrical form reminiscent of a zoetrope, appearing to reflect the subject's thoughts back onto himself. It has a meditative and brooding quality also found in the dark umbers and reds of the night skies in the Stuenes Oscillator paintings.


In Woodrow's 2005 Evaluator sculptures, bronze branches had been used to delineate the forms of animals, ceramic skulls being placed on the outside. In his new Revelator sculptures, a single bronze head of a philosopher or sage is enclosed by the branches. The bearded heads, modelled from memory, point to the iconography of "wise men" from antiquity. Woodrow has written of experiencing holding a swarm of bees along his extended arm, of its collective mass but absolute lightness, and in works such as Revelator 2 the branches have a similar solidity and fragility of interconnecting flight paths that circumnavigate the head, forming an aura of fused energy that exudes the natural force of a child-like scribble balanced in air. The coloured, geometric MDF bases the Revelator sculptures are placed upon echo the movement and profile of the linear cast branches; in Revelator 4 flight appears frozen, the bright red diagonal base shooting an upward trajectory of movement.

The paintings in the exhibition are worked over printed cloth maps. It was whilst fishing at Stuenes in Arctic Norway that Woodrow saw the aurora borealis, the collision of charged particles from the Earth's magnetosphere. In Stuenes Oscillator 3, the largest of the paintings at 7 ½ x 6 ft, Woodrow leaves channels of blue, orange and green from the underlying map to act as a visual metaphor for the drifting currents of the northern lights. A simplified settlement is nestled in the bend of a river dwarfed by the electric lines of energy in the night sky, the map's data reminding us of mankind's method of rationally quantifying the landscape.

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