‘Small Sculpture is not made to be placed pn pedestals. Both by convention and nature it seems set to be unobtrusive, refusing to command the space that it is in. This seems obvious enough and yet it is not quite that straightforward. An object like Floodlight might be small in scale; it might sit on a sill rather than hold centre-stage. It is not in spite of but because it does not demand to be looked at that it becomes more rather than less compelling. What looks like yellow resin or even amber is in fact cast acrylic, a translucent material that holds the light, entrapping a luminous, oval flacked with tiny bits of carbon. Like Solenoid (2015) another sculpture about the same size, wound around with string, it is hard to say what they are. They seem almost like prosthetic extensions of the han’s imaginary, projecting a sense of presence that far exceeds their actual size. The object doesn’t have to be obviously ‘hand-made’ in order for it to have this effect. Its singular intrusiveness, finally, is all the more palpable because it is unexpected.
This work was included in a group exhibition at Rhodes and Mann in 2003, in a review of the exhibition published in Frieze magazine, Morgan Falconer described the work as ‘powerfully evocative… a small, black, oval object enclosing a window of syrupy, luminescent yellow, it was less a stadium light than a lighthouse beam….throwing a sense of seclusion, light and shadow over aseries of drawings by Ana Hatherly’
The classical names for amber, Latin electrum and Ancient Greek ἤλεκτρον (ēlektron), are connected to a term ἠλέκτωρ (ēlektōr) meaning "beaming Sun". According to myth, when Phaëton son of Helios (the Sun) was killed, his mourning sisters became poplar trees, and their tears turned to electron/amber. Wilding’s most recent print is called Phaeton (2016) and also relates to the myth of Phaeton who rode his sun chariot too close to the sun and then scorched the earth causing the death of many people. This image of the chariot is also present in the recent sculpture Re-re-re-tread (also 2016).
An edition of Floodlight is in the British Council Collection.
This work was manufactured by Blanson Acrylic Engineers.
London, Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition, 2002
London, Rhodes and Mann, Nightwood, group exhibition with Ansuya
Blom, Kate Davis, Ana Hatherly and Mandy Ure, 2003
Manningtree, Essex, North House Gallery, Alison Wilding, 2006
London, RBS Galleries, The Thought of Stuff, group exhibition
Madrid, Benveniste Contemporary, Chamberworks, November 2010 - January
2011, group exhibition
Lincoln, Greyfriars, Crating, 2012,
London, Offer Waterman in
collaboration with Karsten Schubert, Alison
Wilding: Acanthus, asymmetrically, 26 May - 7 July 2017, illus colour
Manchester, The Whitworth, Alison Wilding, 16 February - 12 August 2018
Bexhill, De La Warr Pavilion,
Alison Wilding: Right Here and Out There, 23 June - 16 September 2018
Jo Applin and Briony Fer, Alison
Wilding, Lund Humphries in association with Ridinghouse, 2018, p165, illus
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