Currently on display at the Hauser and Wirth gallery in central London is this striking installation by Phyllida Barlow, made up of coloured planks of woods embedded in concrete filled sacks.
The installation forms an impenetrable circular space, reminiscent of an Neolithic hillside fort.
The gallery’s website says:
For more than 50 years, British artist Phyllida Barlow has taken inspiration from her surroundings to create imposing installations that can be at once menacing and playful.
She creates anti-monumental sculptures from inexpensive, low-grade materials such as cardboard, fabric, plywood, polystyrene, scrim and cement.
These constructions are often painted in industrial or vibrant colors, the seams of their construction left at times visible, revealing the means of their making.
Barlow’s restless invented forms stretch the limits of mass, volume and height as they block, straddle and balance precariously. The audience is challenged into a new relationship with the sculptural object, the gallery environment and the world beyond.
‘There’s something about walking around sculpture that has the possibility of being reflective, like walking through a landscape,’ Barlow has said.
‘The largeness of sculpture has that infinite possibility to make one engage beyond just the object itself and into other realms of experience.’
Time Out described it as a ‘ Q-tip Stonehenge,’ adding:
Grey sacks hold coloured planks that jut up into the sky. You can’t walk through the structure, you’re held away like there’s a ritual happening within that you’re not invited to. So you peer in from outside, a stranger to some intimate mass.
The work implies the everyday, the household, the mundane. The individual pieces look like huge ice lolly sticks or the filthy used Q-tips of some giant.
It takes a special kind of skill to make something so big feel so personal and bodily. You walk around and it’s like these have just been pulled straight from your own gob or earholes.
Hauser & Wirth
23 Savile Row, London
Phone: 020 7287 2300
Exhibition runs until Sat 18th Sept 2021
Admission is free, but you need to pre-book here
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus/Piccadilly Circus