22 October - 28 November 2015
William Benington Gallery are delighted to present PINK, a solo exhibition by newly elected President of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, Clare Burnett.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
As children we are unaware of the rules; we experiment and play as a way of trying to make sense of this new world. As we grow we are made to feel self conscious and we stop playing - instead we learn from being told. We learn that boys run fast, jump high and are independent and girls look pretty and behave well, we learn that blue is for boys and for girls it is PINK. Once we have been told that this is so, these lessons are hard to unlearn.
For a number of years Clare Burnett has worked predominantly on site specific sculptures and installations, each work a direct response to the history and visual language of its location. Her sculptures frequently appearing in clusters or groups which play with perspective and scale. Integral to these sculptures is her use of colour. In delicate lines or flat planes, she has explored how a colour or material - or rather our perception of it - changes with context, how small variations in tone will bring a line to the fore or settle it into its surroundings.
For PINK Burnett has developed a new process, almost a return to a more curious and childish way of working. A sense of play has entered her practice, replacing some of the formal minimalism of her previous works. Found and adapted items are arranged alongside carefully crafted objects, giving a sense of three dimensional collage. Chance and improvisation play a key role in these new sculptures, imbuing them with a sense of freedom and fun. Amidst this newfound freedom there is another exploratory narrative that weaves through the exhibition tying the works together: can pink, loaded as it is with context and stereotypes, ever be free of its associations? Can pink be considered on its merits as a complimentary or contrasting colour, to elevate a composition and communicate ideas beyond those of gender and kitsch?
In PINK Clare Burnett hopes to reawaken the playful and curious nature dormant in the each of us and encourage us to reengage with our assumptions and preconceptions, and allows us, perhaps to be a little bit childlike.