Waddington Galleries is pleased to present its first one man exhibition of sculptures by Bill Woodrow. The exhibition will include twenty-four works produced between 1997 and 2005 but will focus predominantly on sculptures of the last two years. The show can be loosely split into four groups: works referring to The Beekeeper theme; ‘Missile 2’ and ‘Skullspawn’ from 2003 and 2004 respectively; a group of Navigator sculptures; and the most recent group of sculptures, Evaluators, Invigilators or Negotiators.
Woodrow first started working on The Beekeeper in 1996 and continues to return to this theme. He states, ‘It seemed a very rich vein to tap visually, materially, narratively, formally and conceptually.’ The sculptures range from near monochrome, painted bronze compositions to complex visual narratives concerning the beekeeping process.
With ‘Missile 2’ and ‘Skullspawn’, Woodrow contrasts the world of nature with themes of weapons and death; on close inspection, the main elements of the works consist of frogspawn resulting from two mating frogs, which sit on the top of missile-like forms - I use images of nature as a symbol of a system which is self-regulating; if it is not interfered with it just gets on with it, and has built-in ways of controlling itself. Western industrial society appears to get the balance completely out of proportion.
The Navigator series of sculptures consist of ceramic animal skulls and geometric shapes of coloured, laminated MDF (medium density fibreboard) arranged to suggest human or animal bodies. The group of new works, the Evaluators, Invigilators and Negotiators, also combine ceramic skulls with brightly coloured MDF. Each sculpture has a delicate skeletal body formed by bronze twigs.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with the text of a conversation between Woodrow and Richard Deacon.