For a number of years Martin Westwood’s work has focused upon reinterpretations of the histories and technologies of print in relation to his practice as a sculptor. Westwood’s interest in renegotiating or toying with the mechanisations inherent in print have gone hand in hand with a fascination with the politics of finance and early money, and the realization of it as an initiating form of print and mass-produced object, through the first stamping of coins.
Following an Abbey Fellowship at The British School at Rome researching the origins of money and currency, the context for his work expanded from the recent past of political-economy towards a wider historical perspective concerning the theoretical and formal implications of economy and exchange. Westwood began to experiment with the development of extruded physical forms as a three dimensional manifestation of print; exploring a rudimentary notion of print as the organisation of formless, inchoate material by ideal, master profiles.
A residency at the European Ceramics Work Centre (EKWC) in Holland and further extensive research as part of his Stanley Picker Fellowship, working within the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture’s specialist ceramic workshop facilities at Kingston University, resulted in the production of new large-scale ceramic works.
These Hands Are Models presents the resulting sculptural forms as considerations of quantification and sculptural duration, measurement and the totem, in an unraveling dialogue within the gallery environment. The new ceramic pieces are presented on customised plinths of stacked walnut-veneered box-section, perforated steel sheeting and smoked glass that assimilate the visual vernaculars and architectures of high-finance and corporate culture. The resulting works sit somewhere between the factory-floor aspirations of mechanization, production and contingent repetition, and the fetishised, conspicuous-consumption of the executive environment.
You can download the accompanying publication, designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio, with commissioned text by Steven Claydon. The 49-page pdf should ideally be printed in full-colour on A4 paper (with the front and back cover on a different colour paper or card) and comb-bound, as illustrated. The special signed edition of the publication is now sold out.
These Hands Are Models is supported by the Henry Moore Foundation and includes work made in the European Ceramic Work Centre.
Martin Westwood is Stanley Picker Fellow Fine Art at the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, Kingston University, and is represented by The Approach, London. Recent exhibitions include: Der Menschen Klee, Kunst Im Tunnel, Dusseldorf (2011); Acute Melancholia, Studio 44, Stockholm, Sweden (2010); Comma13 (Hysteresis), Bloomberg Space (2009); Silt Inter Lace, Approach W1 (2008); Prospects and Interiors: Recent Acquisitions of Sculptors’ Drawings, The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2008; Martin Westwood, The Approach (2007); Art Basel Statements (2006); fade held Art Now, Tate Britain (2005).