Wetwang Slack by Francis Upritchard

Wetwang Slack Analysis

I was drawn to hands, 'feet' (which were more like hooves), ears. These were thin and wrinkled, the 'batata' rubber looked as though it was still wet, it glistened underneath the strong lighting inside The Curve. The aesthetic, and especially the blue cyclops, reminded me of the film 'Pan's Labyrinth' by Guillermo del Toro. This made me think of fairy tales that have a darker tone. It made me think about mythical creatures, swamps. The arduous, labour-intensive process through which this material is extracted also drew my attention, 8 years from beginning to end and extracted from the Amazon. I wonder why Francis Upritchard did this - what's the point? I noticed the antique fabric used to make clothes, delicately stitched some resembling religious or nomadic clothing. I gained a colourful and vibrant sense of her vision - somewhere between extraterrestrial and real life, a place that exists in her mind visualised through figurative sculpture. Perhaps it could help me in my design process to create my own characters, something more performative, informed by my imagination as opposed to necessarily being worn by a person that exists, maybe I could design or research a character from a piece of literature.

 

I was also thinking about the space itself, trying to think critically about the placement, order of the exhibition. The colour was immediately striking, then it dissolved into the raw, tar-like sludge colour of the batata. I was left returning to previous areas in the exhibition, the narrow space in the centre. I felt that this change between the colourful and the raw rubber was unexpected - in several moments I wondered if it was the same artist's work. Removing the colour seemed to bring forth the shape and intricacies of Francis Upritchard's work, which I was attuned to given that The Practitioner Project was based on minimalist approaches to design.  I felt as though I was in a museum for relics or ancient artefacts. This made me think of archaeology, raw material, methods of finding and identifying the age of an object. I wonder if this was intentional, creating the feeling of being in a museum. This makes me want to consider space and presentation, where are my designs, why are my designs.

Wetwang Slack by Francis Upritchard

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Wetwang Slack by Francis Upritchard

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Wetwang Slack by Francis Upritchard

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