A new solo show by the highly talented sculptor Mark Woods following his participation at the 56th Venice Biennale and the Gerwerbemuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland opens tomorrow at The Lubomirov Angus-Hughes Centre for Contemporary Curation. The centre is located at 26 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, London.
Mark Woods produces highly elaborated artefacts that blur the boundaries between top end jewellery, fine arts, Fetish and items from a cabinet of curiosities ending in luxurious objects of desire. As unnerving as evocative, the viewer is confronted with exquisite beauty, sophisticated craftsmanship and the awakening of unexpected emotions. That is the power of Woods’ works: an invitation to step out from our comfort zone and a requestioning of the human desires. As the art critic, Mónica Sánchez-Argilés, says: “Woods’ sculptures seem to echo to perfection the fraudulent simulation phenomena of a society increasingly obsessed with glamour and pornography”.
“I can never predict what reactions people have to these works, however, it does make me happy that people want to come & see it, though…people often surprise, showing a glimpse of the darker corners of the psyche” – Mark Woods
Mark Woods was born in Surrey in 1961. He attended art college for two terms but didn’t feel comfortable in this formalised environment, opting to self-train. From an early age, Mark had a fascination with nature especially insects and was drawn to the jewellery work of Rene Lalique and Faberge and the paintings of Bosche especially his heretical subversion with Catholic imagery.
Vanya Balogh, the curator and also an artist, says: “A Return To The Old Certainties is that rare thing; an exhibition that brings us a renewed encounter between psychoanalysis and fine art. At once disciplined and productively wayward, Mark Woods work dialectic directs us toward compelling voyeuristic world that awakens and invites us intimately to his fine making skills, love, curiosity, perversion, aggression, impurity and much more, ultimately all devised and compellingly so for an artist himself to unbecome accomplice in that ritual of repetitive abandonment.”
When asked; Do you see your works blurring the boundaries between a highly sophisticated Craftmanship and Fine Arts? How?
Mark answered; “Product produced by crafting made to look synthetic, manufactured, seduction & desire, provocation of seduction & desire, harnessed to the cause of the market, consumption, commodity fetishism… commerce… selling us something” …
independent curator Vanya Balogh is a photographer/artist born in Zagreb, Croatia. He currently lives and works between cities of London, Berlin, and Venice. He has studied at Central St Martins and Regents College Of Psychotherapy and Counselling. His curation, which is an integral part of his creative output is defined by high intensity, large scale events which are designed for alternative spaces, instigating autonomous temporal zones for emerging and established artists to experiment and observe the disputed realm between business, commerce, and art. Most notably recent series of group exhibitions in West End Car Parks and on the small scale, a collateral exhibition for the 56th Venice Biennale, apartment project VROOM, which inhabits artists living rooms have both gathered much attention.
Words: Lorenzo Belenguer Photos courtesy Mark Woods
Mark Woods: A Return to Old Certainties Curated by Vanya Balogh The Lubomirov Angus-Hughes Centre for Contemporary Curation 18 February – 12 March 2017 Private View: Friday 17 February 2017