Alexandre Da Cunha has referred to his practice not as 'making' but as 'pointing'. Pointing at existing objects, somehow, in plain sight, and highlighting or revealing new and unexpected facets or meanings within them. This approach has allowed him to unpick our preconceptions and instinctive responses to things and re-direct them into new areas of seeing and understanding, giving way to a lush potential, not only in interpreting his work, but also in everything we subsequently see in the world. Household cleaning objects suddenly conjure spiritual significance and lofty art historical precedents are echoed by hitherto mundane industrial ready-mades.
Thomas Dane Gallery are delighted to present Free Fall, in which da Cunha will present a new group of monumental works that reveals the artist's innate understanding and manipulation of the language of materials and objects.
On entering the gallery the viewer will be met by a large concrete sculpture. This is an appropriative motif that the artist has often worked on, using large-scale concrete civic sewer pipes. This new work disrupts this habitual tubular symmetry and presents an awkward geometric 'off-the-shelf' pre-cast element rocked on to its side, rendered unrecognisable.
The second large-scale sculpture in the show: Free Fall I, made from a colourful full-size parachute draped over a segmented, tubular framework system made from flagpoles. At once a ceremonial garment, national flag or symbolic talisman, the parachute, in contrast to the concrete, is the most un-sculptural of materials, being designed to stop a free fall: aero un-dynamics.
Da Cunha is examining, as in all his work, a conceptual exploitation of objects: twisting their meaning, quality and connotations: heaviness and weightlessness, the theatrical tragicomedy of the deflated parachute.