Press Release: Solo Exhibition of sculpture by Paul Smith at Cambridge Contemporary Art Gallery 4 June - 26 June 2004
"If you go down to the woods today" - Paul Smith
For my solo show at Cambridge Contemporary Art I am making some daring new figurative sculptures that I hope will surprise and charm the gallery visitor.
Large works in woven wire will appear alongside the, by now familiar, ceramic and bronze sculptures. One of these, a two metre tall, predatory cockerel will preside over part of the gallery space, a humorous but undeniably menacing creation. Indeed, the title of this exhibition is intended to allude to just such an atmosphere of humour tinged with darkness.
These elements form a recurring theme in European folk tales, most of which date from a time when forest blanketed the land and wild beasts roamed freely. I am particularly intrigued by the story of Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, an intricate and darkly sensual tapestry of innocence and deception.
My re-interpretation has a beguiling modern twist, for she has grown up to be a supremely confident young woman, spirited and charismatic. Such fables often involve concepts of change and metamorphosis, a world where things are seldom as they seem.
The individual animal sculptures in clay and bronze continue to make up the largest proportion of my work and will rightly figure prominently in this exhibition. Their bold, semi-abstract style gives my work the distinctive character I seek. I usually choose to depict, either animals that presently live in these islands (the familiar domestic and wild creatures all around us), or the more exotic beasts that used to inhabit our forests, the wolves and bears of more dangerous times.
These large carnivores still exist in some numbers in parts of Europe and linger on in our darker imaginings. Walk alone in the black velvet wood and the unruly unconscious will conjure a lurking malevolence. They are gone from here but not forgotten.
Location: Cambridge Contemporary Art Gallery, 6 Trinity Street, Cambridge, CB2 1SU
Tel Paul Smith for more details: 01663 719100
Date: 4 June - 26 June 2004
Time: Monday to Saturday 9.00am to 5.30pm.
Please mention "studiopottery.co.uk" if contacting Paul Smith or the Gallery.