Springboard at The Cookhouse, Chelsea college of arts. The private view is 11 November at 5.30pm and the exhibition runs until Friday 15 November 11-5pm.
Private Collection, USA
I exhibited some of my new Space Series Bronzes at the launch of a new ArtLyst event at Candid Arts Trust. It was great fun and here are some of the photos from the evening. Michael Petry spoke and there was a performance by Roberto Ekholm too.
Michael Petry, a really interesting artist and director of The Museum of Contemporary Art London has written about my work…
Alex Wood might be the unholy reincarnation of Heath Robinson, for he sets his wild imagination and crazy obsession with flight into the heaviest of artistic materials: BRONZE.
A silvered paper zeppelin crashes into a bronze tower in R101 (sadly the original British R101 crashed on its maiden flight in 1930 killing almost everyone on board), a bronze hot air balloon cannot take off and lift its wicker basket in We Have lift-off! While in a new work Fly Me to the Moon a rather wrecked 1950’s version of what a rocket should be, looks like it could never lift off either. A larger work that deal with flight or the lack of it Taking Off, looks like it came out of someone’s father-in-law’s garden shed. It is made from what appears to be found timber and bicycle wheels but also has bronze elements just to add a bit more visual and historical weight. A silver model of Concorde is stuck in a mass of bronze in Mach 2, neither the model or the original are going nowhere and his Ferris Wheel is wonderfully mad, a work his spiritual grandfather would have been proud of – ceramic drinking cups are attached to a motorized bicycle wheel and a mouse could easily topple the complex structure.
It is the heady joy of these objects that brings a smile to the face of even the dourest viewer. That so many of his works are translated into such a staid material (bronze) makes the viewer realize how considered, how constructed, how sophisticated they are. For those unfamiliar with the process, bronze casting is a labor of love and the significant word is labor. These works at first look thrown together, jokey, but on inspection we see they are much more complex and they have been hard fought struggles to come into being and that makes the smile grow even a bit wider.
Michael Petry 2014
Photographs of the CCW SITE Alumni Exhibition
Up, Up & Away! – This is a new sculpture that I created since graduating from Chelsea that combines card and tissue paper with bronze.
The curation of the SITE CCW exhibition I thought was really interesting – with Slick in between the illustrations behind.
I’m mentioned in this review from Avenir Magazine…
CHELSEA COLLEGE OF ART MA SHOW September 16, 2013
THE INTERTWINING OF THE REAL AND THE IMAGINARY
Chelsea College, 6 – 12 September 2013
Get ready before going to Chelsea’s MA show; bring water because you’re in for a long run. The show expands on 4 blocks, 9 floors and more space than you would expect.
The exhibition is a refreshing leap into the fictional part of Art, every detail seems to be created like an imaginary space mixing reality with fiction. Even with the obvious toilet sign placed on the door, one might still push the door with curiosity ‘is this really a toilet? Or is the artist playing tricks on us?’
The show featured a variety of talent from David Lane’s constructed cash points, fake Carphone Warehouse storefront’s plunder and satiric public monument, to Alex J Wood’s sculptures of what it appears to be transportation crashes.
Ken Malory’s life after rust of an object; bringing a beauty crafted by time and nature, alongside with Nia Lessard’s collection of fragments of lives; an organized time capsule of found objects, and Vanessa Hodgkinson’s museum of the future; focusing on being told how to think, and Zahra Jaan’s interpretation of mass consumption through her textile designs.
You feel the artists’ critic of today’s society, a wish to revolutionize it; bringing personal and intellectual influence in order to denunciate the reality of nowadays social and environmental struggles with an artistic and fictional approach.
It’s a delightful exhibition worth taking time to explore, and an interesting message and thoughts to process after it, giving a nice feeling for tomorrow’s art.
Click here to see the review at its original source:
Since seeing the Montgolfier balloon at the Science museum and discovering that was the first flight I’ve begun to become really interested in balloons.
I’ve thought about creating a balloon in spot weld wire and stretching fabric across – but thought it would show the frame too much. Or in paper mâché similar to their original balloon. Again though it becomes a mere copy.
I’ve started though work on a bronze hot air balloon. I’ve created a mould for the top and I’m carving the shape of the balloon by hand now out of the plaster core. This will then have the wax applied too it and ultimately become bronze.
The octagonal – almost Russian Constructivist balloon I really like. It’s sharp lines accentuate its form. Here is the finished result now in a private collection in London.
I’ve been researching the various varnishes etc for the finishing on the plane and decided on a Deep Mahogany for the wings. I also found a thick copper wire which I have used between the supports. I’m debating whether to add quirky elements to the plane.
Embarking on painting the plane is rather daunting as I want the finish of the plane to be totally perfect. I’ve begun to add brass screw eyes and I’m individually colouring the screws I’m using.
I’ve sourced a garden furniture wood stain, Country Cream to colour the back wings and the rudder but very hesitant to go ahead and colour the main wings. I’m edging the plane with Sanderson antique gold and adding gilding.
Focusing upon the final show I’ve begun to create a bi-plane. The amazement of flying, the recent headlines surrounding the Dreamliner, my own long flight to Japan all led to me researching ‘flight’.
I discovered interesting facts, the wright bros started with gliders then moved to powered flights. The planes were crazily dangerous with the fuel line running directly underneath the one passenger – the pilot!
I found this quote very interesting:
“They also realized that trial-and-error with different wings on full-size gliders was too costly and time-consuming. Putting aside the three-wheel bicycle, they built a six-foot wind tunnel in their shop and conducted systematic tests on miniature wings from October to December 1901. The “balances” they devised and mounted inside the tunnel to hold the wings looked crude, made of bicycle spokes and scrap metal, but were “as critical to the ultimate success of the Wright brothers as were the gliders.”
I’ve begun to create my own bi plane – it’s fairly large scale with 7 foot wings. I’ve ordered propellers and making a rudder. Bronze is going to combined into the work. It’s based upon a model airfix bi plane – Kitty Hawk.
PLANE RESEARCH AT THE SCIENCE MUSEUM
I’ve been researching the early days of flying. The worlds first ever flight was in a hot sir balloon that nearly caught on fire. At the Science museum they have a whole gallery devoted to flight. The models there are really interesting and are a big influence on my work.
I am showing in The Cookhouse the first week of July with the other people who I travelled to Japan with. The preview is 2 July 5-8PM.
The exhibition is supported by a catalogue which is being produced at the moment and also a joint publication which is being printed now. I will upload both as a downloadable PDF soon.
I have submitted a piece of writing to JAWS Journal, a University of the Arts Publication that promotes student writing and research.
My piece focuses on the cultural differences between theatre in the West compared to that of theatre in Japan. I also make reference to my own sculpture, Slickthat explores low-fi and high-fi materials with bronze and card.
Resonation and Amplification in Art and Noh Theatre
“The Noh is unquestionably one of the great arts of the world, and it is quite possibly one of the most recondite” (Pound, E & Fenollosa, E. 1979)
As part of the CCW exchange, I went on a three-week trip to Japan and stayed at the Tokyo Wonder Site. Whilst there were distinct cultural contrasts between east and west, I also found many parallels between Tokyo’s people and places, and my own art practice. In this article, I am going to assert some of these similarities, by engaging with Zenchiku’s Chikubu-Shima; performed at the National Noh Theatre in Shibuya, Tokyo, during my stay.
In researching Noh beforehand, I found out that the floor is polished to enable better ‘gliding’ of actors, and that giant pots are buried underneath the stage, enabling sounds to resonate in the theatre space. These are components that I may have never been aware of during my own viewing, as they serve to amplify experience, rather than signify in-themselves. Through the actions that take place, Noh becomes more than purely theatre, and lends itself closer to a piece of performance art…
Ceramic Seagull and found wood, gilded.
In Progress stages of works, including Nodding Donkey, Water Tower, American Windmill Etc.
Also installations including Wind Farm. This exhibition also features paintings by Sean Penlington, which we both curated together.
The Bear Pub – Friday 8 March 6-8pm
296 Camberwell New Road, SE5 0RP
Buses 36, 436 and 185 from Vauxhall Bridge Road to Sacred Hearts School
Featuring: Kelly Akers, Jennifer Hawkins, Cheryl Papasian & Alex Wood
These images below are ‘in progress’ where I have been incorporating motors. I have combined unusual materials including carpet gripper with in this piece.
This piece was created in one pour through sand-casting. The shape loosely references oil rigs and similar structures; it is a maquette for a larger piece I ma currently working on.
The textured surface underneath i created in the sand with various objects as the bronze picks up the tiniest and most intricate of details.
I have begun to create oil rig type structures or ‘platforms’, exploring the idea that they could become redundant in the future, and also an awe of their intricate structure. They are colossal and most are decommissioned. However some are for sale:
“Well-maintained 20-room platform for sale. Panoramic sea views and a Heli deck.”
“If it is not purchased, the North Sea drilling platform will have to be decommissioned and disassembled by the current owners.”
This really interests me, and I have begun to create kinetic models using low-fi materials. Combined with the low-fi materials are also bronzes, and fine porcelain with gold lustres and gilded elements. It creates a juxtaposition between the materials.
“LOTS OF LOLLYS” by Papasian Wood
Delfina Gallery Private View,
Bermondsey Street Festival
Saturday 22 September
Alex Wood and Cheryl Papasian present a collaborative artwork entitled “Lots of Lollys”, involving 8000 lolly sticks, factory lighting, and wooden candy floss canes. The result, a cage like structure that the viewer can enter and explore, and interact with.
Installation Photographs of my PG Dip ‘Final Final’ Show at Chelsea
Bronze Sculptures, featured in ‘Plinth Towers’
Pg Dip Final Final Show, Chelsea College of Art, London. July 2012.
Alex Wood’s plinths, tower above the viewer creating a sense of jeopardy and instability. The feeling of precariousness that the sculptures create is heightened by the imminent threat of collapse. Exploring the relationships of monumentality and the un-monumental.
Alex combines low-fi materials which include timber, wax, ceramic and discarded debris in his sculptures. Towering buildings and architecture can appear to teeter on the brink. Alex pushes this feeling of precariousness to it’s limit with his sculptures.