Today I had a rather pleasant surprise (even if the postman did wake me from a mid-day snooze) when an unexpected parcel arrived at my door. I opened it up, thinking that maybe it contained something that I'd ordered as a Yuletide present for someone, only to realise that inside were two copies of a new art book that features one of my sculptures, 'Magnet'. I'd been contacted well over a year ago about having my work featured in a couple of art books, and I'd almost forgot about them.
This book, 'the artist's manual' (ISBN: 9780241483855) is published by DK, with Rob Pepper as consultant editor, and is surprisingly chunkier than I was expecting. It is an art source book, covering media, materials, tools, and techniques, and filled with hundreds of images of work, from a wide range of artists. My piece is featured in the 'Readymades and Assemblage' chapter.
Flicking through the pages I quickly found images of three sculptures by one of the contributing authors, the lovely and talented sculptor, Julian Wild - an artist that I've exhibited alongside a few times, starting from back when we were both members of the Royal British Society of Sculptors (a society for whom Julian was Vice President from 2015-2019).
As I'd mentioned in a previous post, 'Magnet', my toy tower sculpture, is now in the permanent collection at The Black Gold Museum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (due to open in 2022).
'Magnet' is from of a series of four wheeled tower sculptures (the others being The City, Book Tower and Fetish); each relating to a different aspect of our relationship with material possessions, and how our psychological attachment to large quantities of physical objects limit our freedom and mobility.
Originally titled 'Toy Tower', it was renamed 'Magnet' after its first showing when it became evident that its powers of attraction seemed to work on children and adults in equal measure. On the first day of Magnet’s first exhibition the person invigilating told me that he had looked over to where my sculpture should have been, only to find that it had disappeared. Apparently four little boys had managed to sneak the piece out into the street before being chased off by the invigilator, who wheeled the sculpture back into the gallery.
It's still a bit odd not having Magnet around anymore, as it's one of the earliest sculptures I made (way back in 1999) and has been a colourful presence around the place for over two decades - especially since most of my later sculptures tend to lean towards the brown end of the colour spectrum. To compensate for its absence I think that maybe the next piece in my giant face mask wall sculptures series will have to be made using plastic toys.