John Hansard Gallery presents Siobhán Hapaska’s (b.1963) first major UK solo exhibition in almost ten years. This exhibition highlights new and recent sculptural works including: 'Love' (2016), 'Snake and Apple', 'Earthed', and 'Candlewick' (all 2018), exhibited for the first time in the UK.
Across the sculptures on display, Hapaska introduces a diverse array of materials, including fibreglass, concrete cloth, artificial snakeskin, aluminium, oak, charcoal powder, wax and brass. Each loaded with history and multiple readings, these materials are combined in ways that are surprising: biomorphic forms in concrete cloth reach towards one another, as if trying to touch; glossy fibreglass apples are constricted by snakeskin-veneered metal channels; a sanctuary lamp floods the room with purple light, rotating in a perpetual state of crisis.
The ways in which Hapaska’s sculptural forms interact or connect can give her work a powerful sense of duality – we often see two forms in states of conflict, distress, desire or compassion. At times, her sculptures touch upon different belief systems, ideologies or faiths, but never in a way that is ultimately resolved or redeemed. Rather, we are given an insight into the combustibility of the human condition, with all its flaws and contradictions; tenderness and destructiveness.
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