William Benington Gallery was pleased to present The Island: a solo exhibition of new sculptures by the acclaimed British artist Julian Wild, including his first works in bronze.

In 2012 Julian moved his home and studio from London to an isolated area of East Sussex. While researching local history Julian discovered that this small area where he now lives and works was historically know as The Island. Since then he has explored this transition in his sculptural work by combining the material aesthetics of architecture and urban development with forms inspired by the flora of the British countryside. Of particular interest to Julian are native perennials and pernicious weeds whose resilience and persistent growth draw easy comparison to the rapid regeneration and expansion of modern cities. 

A leitmotif within the sculptures of The Island is that of a form splitting itself, like a plant searching out new territories, often to return back to the central form with renewed resolve. Rubus, titled after the latin genus for brambles, consists of a square of angry red welded box-steel that separates into a tangle of smaller tendrils before remerging into the trunk of the shape. Ilex, cast in bronze, initially appears to mimic the divided asymmetry of the Holly leaf after which it’s named. However on closer inspection the two sections cross one another before rejoining on the opposite side as if drawing the two halves closer together in an embrace. It is these often tender or sensual human moments that are revealed through Julian’s process of exerting industrial order onto nature’s chaos, that make his sculptures so exciting.

The Island runs in conjunction with Sculpture in the City 2014 where Julian Wild is exhibiting two major works; Salvia on Undershaft and Deadly Nightshade on Bishopsgate. Sculpture in the City runs until May 2015 in the Square Mile, London.www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/sculptureinthecity