Steven Claydon: The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups

22 Apr 2017 – 9 Jul 2017

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The Common Guild

Glasgow, United Kingdom

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Steven Claydon is known for sculptural work that examines the changing value of objects – aesthetic, functional and financial – a theme that has become more pertinent against the backdrop of threats to cultural heritage internationally.


Working with a range of carefully sourced and fabricated components, encompassing the arcane and the high-tech, Claydon plays out the processes whereby objects come into being, accrue meaning, and endure and transform through environmental and cultural shifts.

For his exhibition at The Common Guild, Claydon presents a group of new works spanning sculpture, installation and sound, in which he addresses the ideas of jeopardy and pressure. Claydon’s work often draws a parallel between physical pressures – such as those experienced at great depth, altitude, or in a vacuum – and the subtler kinds of pressures that are imposed on objects in terms of how they are used, viewed, presented or aestheticised within any given social or institutional context.

Within and between the works in the exhibition, Claydon poses the question of whether objects and concepts – emancipated from specific uses and contexts – possess a counterpart to the evolutionary survival strategies seen in humans and animals.

In parallel with Claydon’s exhibition in Glasgow, The Common Guild is co-operating with Mount Stuart Trust (Bute) as part of its contemporary visual arts programme.

‘The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups’ is supported by the Henry Moore Foundation. With thanks to Industrial Gases company BOC, leading subsea operations and manufacturing company JFD and their National Hyperbaric Centre.

The exhibition will be Claydon’s first solo show in Scotland, continuing the organisation’s reputation for bringing important international artists to Scotland for the first time. Claydon’s exhibition in Glasgow follows a new commission as part of ‘The Persistence of Objects’, an exhibition curated by The Common Guild for Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland, in 2015 and a series of major exhibitions in Geneva, Bergen and London.

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