Contemporary Art Society is pleased to present Rag and Bone by Laura Ford at the Economist Plaza. Presented in collaboration with Turner Contemporary, Margate, Houldsworth Gallery and the Economist, Rag and Bone is a newly created group of sculptures inspired by characters from the stories of Beatrix Potter.
Ford works with a variety of materials from fabric and other found objects to more traditional material such as plaster, and in this case bronze. The works themselves, childlike and playful, belie more serious issues as the figures stand out in the cold, homeless and hungry. Some of Potters best known characters are set to surprise us; Badger is searching through the dustbin for food; Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, the hedgehog, pushes her laden pram overflowing with all her belongings, Tod, the fox, wrapped in blankets, reminds us all too poignantly of the many homeless sleeping in our cities’ streets.
The sculptures comment on the parallel worlds that exist in our towns and cities: the sanitised spaces of consumerism and the homeless and disenfranchised who often exist on their margins. By casting characters from Edwardian children’s tales in contemporary urban situations, Ford asks questions about our throwaway culture while the sentimentality of Potter’s original stories is given a far darker undercurrent.
Laura Ford, one of the foremost female sculptors working in the UK, came to prominence in the British Art Show 5 2000 organised by the Hayward Gallery. Ford represented Wales at the Venice Biennale 51 in 2005. Recent exhibitions include Camden Arts Centre, the ICA, Aldrich Museum, Connecticut, and Centre of Contemporary Art, Salamanca. Collections include Tate Britain, the Arts Council, Contemporary Art Society, Government Art Collection, New Art Gallery, Walsall, and Museum of Art, Iowa.
Laura Ford is represented by Houldsworth, London. Laura Ford’s Disagreeable People runs concurrently at the Houldsworth Gallery from 17 November – 12 January 2008. www.houldsworth.co.uk