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Gold

Compromising of ten recently completed bronze busts, the projects looks at the symbolic way this metal, which is considered precious, is used.

Drawing inspiration from Mythology, Commerce and Religion, Philip sets out to explore our perceptions and out attachment to those systems in a series of bronze busts that recall the Golden Egg and the Golden Calf as well as gold bars.

Each work consists of a blue bronze cast head and a gilded headpiece attachment. These individually sculpted heads, made in plaster and cast in blue bronze, preserve the subtelty and response of the models on which they are based, while the inventive use of materials and juxtaposition of imagery exude an understated humour, an energy, a beauty and an intelligence which makes the work compelling to view.

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Comment by Resident Curator on October 19, 2013 at 10:01am

Curator’s Comments:  

 

I benefitted from reading the text that accompanies this work, as it helped me recognize your multiple influences and motivation.  But if I understand your statement correctly, this image is a part of a larger installation of ten heads.  As a set, they adroitly and poetically illustrate a system of weights and quantifications; values calculated by an intrinsically materialistic measure. Additional heads, beyond these five, would further emphasize this structure with varying levels of gold.  I do wonder if the specified number ten suggests a symbolic unit or grouping, especially in the context of mythology, Biblical teaching, and the mathematical/Pythagorean unit of completion.  In terms of deconstruction, it’s curious to decrease by a tenth is to decimate. Numerals connect and derive their meaning from the body; digits, etc.

I also find it interesting that while you state the casting process allows for the capture of subtle individual expressions and identities, the models appear to all be young males.  In this gender biased sampling I read the grouping as patriarchal or youth power establishment more than a cross section of humanity. Perhaps this is intentional, or includes self portraiture?  While elevated on pedestals, the figures don’t appear to be especially empowered by their fiscal accumulations.  Their eyes are blanked out by coins/glasses?  This to me suggests a certain blind faith or capitulation to a rigged categorization.  It’s an ambitious installation- well crafted, thoughtful, and ultimately challenging in its aesthetic engagement with materials and form.

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Ms Kristen T. Woodward critiques of members art.

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