Sim Smith is delighted to present, 'Trophy'.
This two-person exhibition explores the use of the trophy, its associations and narratives. From the celebratory to the unassuming, this exhibition surveys its various guises, through fascination and fantasy.
The exhibition features artworks by Sandra Lane (b. 1954, UK), Bradley Wood (b. 1970, Canada).
A trophy in its basic sense is a reminder of an achievement, a memory, memento, commemoration, proof of a conquest or goal. Originally taken from the Greek word Tropaion, it referred to arms, property but also humans and body parts. Our connection to a trophy may have happened in the past, be happening in real time or can even await an event or happening.
Neither artist deals with the representation of a stark reality in their work, instead trophies appear consistently through a veil of imagination or memory. Truth and how we remember it, how we perceive it and depict it effects how we tell stories. Our relationship to time and the effect it has on us is complex.
Sandra Lane's work looks back in time, at the body, at place and at memories you can feel and taste. She sculpts and moulds clay with great personal insight and emotional force. Lane conjures memories from human and organic forms massaged and pinched with her hands; big bows and ruffles slicked with sticky glaze, tumbling wigs that sit like hard icing on top of a cake, heavy platform shoes and broken cigarettes in pastel hues. Her work stems from the autobiographical but also from a sense of an expectation from society, expectations that are placed on women and girls from an early age.
Bradley Wood looks at society through a different lens, he is always looking in, a voyeur of the domestic and fictional constructed from his imagination. His paintings in heavy oil invite speculation and intrigue. He opens doors to worlds where we can look at willing subjects as well as those caught in private or intimate moments without their permission. Like an unseen photographer at a party or a surveillance camera, he watches over the action and positions the viewer in the role of a 'peeping tom', asking questions about 'who was looking and why?' and 'who else is there that we cannot see?'
Both artists consistently use trophies in their work; body parts and organic forms shape the structures of Lane's trophies as mementos of body and place, whereas status symbols, people, relationships and hunks of meat act as the ultimate trophies in Wood's domestic scenes. The exhibition looks at our internal dialogue, our relationship to times past but also to expectation and imagination; to wants, voyeurism and desire. It looks at the delight we take in the representations of the trophy, the breaking of moral taboos and the complex narratives at play about our connection to people, places and objects on a psychological and emotional level.