In Joinery, Hart's first solo exhibition at Tim Sheward Projects, he toys with the familiar terminology for a carpenters' workshop, acknowledging the pragmatism behind engineering and design.
Luke Hart's practice examines the way things in our world are put together: a dovetail joint, a musical instrument's flight case, or a simple chair. Each a puzzle-solving situation reflecting the methods taken when solving each task. He presents us with sets of what appear to be technical instruments encased in wooden beech boxes. Cared for and respected they could belong in a wood workshop and, although at rest, he is reminding us that these are functional problem solving tools; joinery being a place, but also a skill and action.
The orange bonded polyurethane rubber in Hart's larger works is reminiscent of the colour-branding found in power tools and is also suggestive of heat and action. Hart's practice shifts between allegorical suggestions and technical pragmatism - they are poetical power tools - and presented on sturdy travel crates rather than on ascetic exhibition displays, points to the idea of these sculptures having the potential to function.
Hart's work examines the deeper ergonomic nature that lies at the heart of decision making and design, and the relationship of form and functionality to mind and body. Frozen and made explicit in this way, his work suggests a societal relation, and points to what may be deeply embedded in our synaptic and muscle memory, like the 3-D cross-hinge at the centre of a Rubik's Cube fast twisting core.
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