Tim Phillips & Jonathan Baldock – Imagined Pasts / Unknown Futures

20 September to 14 October 2012

Tim Phillips, Jonathan Baldock & Paul McDevitt   

Haunting characters of rural folklore. Occult imagery and ritual devotion. Transmogrifications of anonymous culture. Theatrical facades of glorified Gods. Illusory grandeur and assumed opulence. All this and more as three visionary artists examine representation, power and mythology.

Each exhibited artist makes theatrical hybrid works that fuse conventional modes of representation with imaginary worlds created from art-historical references and contemporary iconography. From Baldock’s use of kitchen-table crafts to Phillips’ traditional inlay and McDevitt’s colour-pencil drawings the artists consummate skill is self-evident whilst the works they create are far from the comfortable traditional world of the craftsman.

Through the grotesque and carnivalesque Jonathan Baldock utilises and departs from the canons of figurative representation – the head, the bust, and the reclining figure. Ruminating on a gamut of sculptural styles from primitivism to romanticism, abstraction to postmodernism he weaves multiple elements together to create works of the present.

Baldock explores the territories between animal, human and inanimate forms, creating strange, hybrid objects. Revelling in a love of the dark, glamorous and uncanny spectacle of theatre, where the beautiful unmasks the horrific, he uses familiar kitchen table crafts, their cosy connotations becoming thrilling when subverted and distorted.

Focused on the language of power, Tim Phillips’ exposes the choreographed languages of object, ritual and icon. The artist sees this process as a theatre within the sculptures he makes. The colours, materials and composition invite the audience to participate in a staged ritual of illusory grandeur.

His theatrical objects are layered in precise veneers, shiny plastics or plain mdf, their detailed geometries and grandiose structures combined with the use of religious and corporate iconography giving weight to their rocky foundations of belief, authority and worship. In a strange limbo between the fake and authentic there is an innate feeling of mythology which we instinctively accept. Intuitively we are drawn in to Phillips’ world of unknown pasts or imagined futures.