Ivan Smith draws on socio-political issues to inform his sculpture and installation work. He first exhibited at this gallery in 2007, when he participated in our 'One Night Stand' programme with PENNY BLACK, a print installation that drew on media images from the war in Iraq.
We are now delighted to present TENSION, an installation using bungie ropes and steel. The entire exhibition has been conceived and formulated over the last eight weeks, and has involved a rigorous engagement with the complex notion of rendering political thought and emotion into physical, sculptural and visual form.
Smith's political concerns have been with the real and perceived threats posed by world politics and the advancement of one force over others; whether on the battlefield (Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka) or through disinformation and propaganda either by the media or the world's governments.
His choice of materials (the bungies and the steel) are imperative in his endeavour to visually substantiate his political 'emotions'; as too is the importance he has placed from the beginning on the requisite word TENSION and its dictionary definitions (see below).
1. A strained state or condition resulting from forces acting in opposition to each other.
2. A strained political or social state or relationship.
3. Mental or emotional strain.
4. The state of having the muscles stretched tight esp. as causing strain or discomfort.
5. A state of being stretched tight.