Laura Ford: Under This Roof

6 Jul 2024 – 8 Sep 2024

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 16:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00

Free admission

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Under This Roof is a solo exhibition of new work by British artist Laura Ford. Leaving all sense of rules and reality at the door, Ford's playful sculptures invite us into a mysterious and magical wonderland.


A theatre of the absurd, this show encompasses several acts happening all at once. Having grown up around the fairground circuit, Ford is interested in the uncertainty and illusion that magic makes use of.  Both as individual pieces and as a collective, these works traverse the line between reality and imagination. ‘Parasol Magic’ and ‘The Vigilant One provide a voice to the everyday, as these quintessentially domestic objects spring to life through creeping hands and ever vigilant eyes. Enchanting yet ominous, these anthropomorphic objects, animals and beings both enchant and disquiet the viewer.


Driving this body of work is ‘Fuel Injected.’ This electric red car and its five passengers express a moment of rage. Taking us on a journey, the surrounding works survey the spectrum of emotional states within the human experience.   


Ford builds a succession of nuanced narratives through a variety of media:  floral and chintzy fabrics create a sense of familiarity and nostalgia to some of these works, while hand-molded clay and ceramics bring us back to the playroom, navigating the often contrary emotions associated with childhood and the home.  Double-edged, her works are bold, playful and emotionally disruptive.

References to historical accounts and art historical motifs give Ford's sculptures a story-telling quality.  ‘Epstein's Magic Tricks’ references the eccentric bronze portrait sculptures of the late Sir Jacob Epstein. Ford's manipulation of small surface planes and facial details create an enigmatic depiction of a woman grappling with the loss of her lower body: a horrifying realisation of the fairground trick of sawing a lady in half. Boleyn's Cat, emerges from Ford's fascination with an image of Anne Boleyn's beheading: infamously beguiling, Boleyn is reimagined as a flirty yet precarious bronze cat who awaits her fate.

Ultimately, Ford's work is as much about what is visible as what is not.  Through posture and positioning she alludes to her subject's attempts to disappear or hide. Ford's invitation to us is to consider what lies beyond…

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Laura Ford


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