Memories of the Five Administrations

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British conceptualists Simon Bedwell and Stephen Sutcliffe, coalesce individual approaches to poetic satire and knowledges of modern and contemporary popular culture in a collaborative exhibition fusing ceramics, video and painting.

Bedwell’s recent experiments in monumental ceramic ‘statuary’ have created technical challenges that have led to his innovations in fired ceramic: a flexible system that creates a bespoke ‘kiln’ for each sculpture.  The new, large-scale ceramics, inspired by contemporary figures, depart from the tradition of British cartoonists from James Gillray (1756-1815) to Steve Bell (born 1950). These amorphous forms become the support for new video works by Stephen Sutcliffe: fired ceramics that incorporate spaces for screens and technical equipment. Sutcliffe’s digital video collages and murals draw on the artist’s extensive archive of British television, film sound, broadcast images and spoken word recordings.

Bedwell and Sutcliffe are of the generation and social class for whom mass, state-funded TV, and the music press, served as introductions to experimental art and European philosophy, as well as pop music and fashion. Together, the artists seek to embody an empowerment of under-represented voices through the subversion of orthodox boundaries, between frame and image, object and space, medium and support. This new collaboration is commissioned to respond to Beaconsfield’s unique gallery environment, where sculptural installation is understood as the critical process of trying things out.

Bedwell and Sutcliffe merge figurative, sculpted bodies with figurative filmmaking, and the apparatus that ‘film’, or video, relies upon to be shown.