The Museum will also display pieces from Franko B’s series Still Life, in which the artist documented homelessness on the streets of London between 1999 and 2002. The photographs reflect upon the lives of the most vulnerable in our society and reference Franko B’s personal biography.
Sleeping Beauty is a sculpture of a deceased refugee child, presumed to be from Syria, hand carved in marble using traditional methods in the style of Baroque sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Like Bernini, Franko B's practice is engaged with an aesthetic dialogue between the sacred and profane. However, in Franko B’s latest sculpture, the sacred is found in the figure of the child rendered eternally in marble and the profane within ourselves, our leaders, our states and institutions - crystallised in our collective failure to address the worst human crisis since the Second World War.
The practice of mass consumption and appropriation of imagery is key in Franko B’s art. It reflects upon the saturation of our cultures with images, a phenomenon that has only intensified in the age of the Internet. The action of stitching and painting these works on canvas, or in this case carving in marble is a deliberate attempt to bring the ephemera of our culture into carefully considered physical form. In these gestures of permanence, Franko B has made an impossibility of mindless deletion, of forgetting and of censorship.