Portable Sculpture: Online Research Events

The word 'sculpture' is often associated with large, immobile objects that are weighty and permanent, but sculpture is not always fixed in place: sculpture can be mobile, agile and endlessly adaptable.

Join us as we discuss this other side of sculpture in a series of free online research events, programmed alongside the exhibition Portable Sculpture. In this series we will be speaking to artists involved in the exhibition about their sculptures that are deliberately designed to fold up, or pack down, or that have been made while on the move, and to art historians who will reflect on the wider histories of the portable in sculpture.

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Past events in this series:

T. J. Demos in-conversation with Dr Clare O'Dowd

Interview between art historian and curator, premiered on YouTube on Wednesday 19 May, 6pm

Taking his seminal study The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp (2007) as a starting point, Professor T. J. Demos and curator Dr Clare O'Dowd discuss the continued resonance of Marcel Duchamp's work in exile, the politics of trash and the future of sculpture in the face of the climate crisis.

Watch online now


All in the Same Boat: Migratory Passages in Contemporary Sculpture

Lecture by Heather Diack, premiered on YouTube on Wednesday 9 June, 6pm
Live discussion on Zoom, Wednesday 16 June, 6pm

Dr Heather Diack discusses a growing body of international art focused on boats, as unstable vessels and perilous objects. These works flow into a 'migratory turn' in contemporary art, joining a flood of artworks that evoke mass human migration as both subject matter and approach.

Find out more...


Claire Ashley in-conversation with Dr Clare O'Dowd

Interview between artist and curator, premiered on YouTube on Wednesday 21 July, 6pm

Curator Dr Clare O'Dowd talks to artist Claire Ashley about the use of inflatables in her practice, focusing on Clown (Laughing Stock) 2020, a new work commissioned for Portable Sculpture. Ashley discusses the relationship between painting and sculpture in her work and the necessity of taking up space as a woman in a male-dominated field.

Watch online now


Mohamad Hafez in-conversation with Dr Clare O'Dowd

Interview between artist and curator, premiered on YouTube on Wednesday 4 August, 6pm

Mohamad Hafez talks to Dr Clare O'Dowd about his three 'suitcase' sculptures included in the Portable Sculpture exhibition, which combine art and architectural practices to address the worldwide refugee crisis and the experience of exile. Hafez discusses the significance of the suitcase, the relationship between sculpture and architecture, and the importance of his religious faith within his practice.

Watch online now


Fold up, pack down or made on the move sculpture

Lecture by Jo Melvin, premiered on YouTube on Wednesday 18 August, 6pm
Live discussion on Zoom, Wednesday 25 August, 6pm

Portable sculpture is surely as old as the first vessels for eating and the earliest tools carried by peoples across millennia. This lecture will cast a retrospective glimpse at a few precedents before focusing in particular on representations of currency as a sculptural form and its distribution in contemporary practice.

Find out more...

Venue details

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