Julia Crabtree and William Evans: Slip
17 Sep 2021 – 16 Jan 2022
Exhibition in Galleries 1, 2 and 3
Julia Crabtree and William Evans have been collaborating since 2006 and are known for their process-driven sculpture. Slip includes work from the last five years alongside sculptures made for this exhibition.
Julia Crabtree and William Evans Gullet 2017 (installation view) Cell Project Space
Photo: Rob Harris
Julia Crabtree and William Evans Heaves 2021 (installation view) Henry Moore Institute.
Photo: John McKenzie.
Julia Crabtree and William Evans Pores 2021 (installation view) Henry Moore Institute
Photo: John McKenzie
Julia Crabtree and William Evans Gullet 2017-21 (installation view) Henry Moore Institute
Photo: John McKenzie
Julia Crabtree and William Evans' work incorporates a breadth of materials and modes of making from casting and glass-blowing to video-making and printing. For each new body of work they initiate a sequence of contained sculptural experiments. The artists allow the fallibilities of collaborative working and the risk of failure inherent to their materials to inform the final object.
The need to touch and understand the world through its things, when most information arrives via screens, underpins Crabtree and Evans’ experimental and playful approach. Entering this exhibition requires walking upon the carpet of Gullet 2017–21. The printed image comes from a simulation of a smoke-filled room, now stripped of its digital slickness and transferred onto a malleable, physical surface. Acting as a threshold to the exhibition, the part-sculpture, part-pedestal also reveals the duo’s interest in scenography and the collision of real and digital experience.
Embracing the ‘errors’ and ’mishaps’ of their working processes, along with off-kilter colours, Crabtree and Evans seek an alternative to recognised systems of perfection, taste and the myth of the artist genius. In a new body of ceramics, which appropriate mass-produced goods designed to support the body, the cracks and collapses triggered by casting, firing and glazing have all been retained. In another new series, blown glass sculptures are pushed to their material limits with extreme heat, gravity and the artists’ own collaborative decision-making central to their process.
In the video installation Crutch 2017-21, a projection shows bodily indentations being made by an invisible force into a soft, tactile base. Whatever their chosen material, Crabtree and Evans’ works speak of the body without ever depicting it. Interested in systems and ecologies, the exhibition as a whole offers a landscape of ecosystems which, as they say themselves, ‘is exactly what the body is’.
About the artists
Learn more about the artists in this Q&A with the exhibition's curator, Laurence Sillars (Head of the Henry Moore Institute).
Crabtree and Evans were the recipients of the Nina Stewart Residency award at South London Gallery, the Mary Hofstetter Legacy Scholarship for the New Materiality residency at the Banff Centre, Canada and are Wysing Arts Centre residency alumni.
They are currently working on a garden commission for Flat-Time House with Alice Hattrick. Recent commissions include Gulch, exhibited at the Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff and Crutch shown as part of Maximum Overdrive at Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea. Solo exhibitions include Cell Project Space, London, South London Gallery and Legion TV, London.
A programme of free online research events will coincide with the exhibition, investigating process-based sculpture practice. Full details to be announced.
Booking tickets to visit our galleries is no longer necessary, though we advise groups of six or more book in advance to make sure there is space for you all to visit the galleries at the same time.
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