Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture - David Madalla

It is fair to describe David Medalla's practice as varied and expansive. In his 70 year career, the work he has made includes painting, sculpture, participatory work, kinetic art, installation and performance. The different works presented in this exhibition are a good representation of his multidisciplinary approach.

For the exhibition at The Hepworth Gallery, Medalla exhibits one of his so called Auto Creative Sculptures, Cloud Canyons.

Cloud Canyons consists of a number of clear plastic pipes standing in a circular plinth. Foam is forced up and out of the tubes, and as the foam rises, it doubles back on itself and falls down the tubes and the cycle begins again. I find it mesmerizing; rather like watching flames in an open fire. The natural rhythm and movement of nature.

I find the work in the other room far less engaging. Medalla invites the audience to contribute to A Stitch In Time, another work from the sixties that Medalla is exhibiting at The Hepworth. Fabric is suspended in the gallery, and visitors are encouraged to sew any items they wish to onto the fabric. As is often the case with such participatory work, we are left viewing an accumulation of rubbish, used train tickets, shopping lists and chocolate bar wrappers. Surely we've moved beyond this kind of work.

David Medalla, Sand Machine, 1963/2015 from Venus Over Manhattan on Vimeo.

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