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Kits and Building Blocks / Elly Thomas
11/04/2016 - 03/06/2016
In Toys Roland Barthes describes how the ‘merest set of blocks’, provide a child with the tools to create imaginary worlds. For Barthes, it is the animistic engagement with material that characterises this play activity: ‘He creates forms which walk, which roll, he creates life, not property: objects now act by themselves, they are no longer an inert and complicated material in the palm of his hand.’
Taking Barthes’ analysis of toy building blocks as a cue to an animistic approach to sculpture, Elly Thomas will create a sprawling landscape that will form through the makeshift and improvisatory. Using a collection of sculptures as a kit of forms with which to improvise and experiment, the installation will forestall a sense of resolution. The gallery space will be treated as an experimental site as the installation becomes reworked and reconfigured over the course of the exhibition.
A series of talks on art and play will accompany the exhibition.
Elly Thomas received her PhD from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2013 for her practice-related thesis (Play as Evolving Process in the Work of Eduardo Paolozzi, Philip Guston and Tony Oursler). She has had articles published in Sculpture Journal, The British Art Journal and Apollo: The International Art Journal. She has presented her work at the ICA and the Hayward Gallery Project Space. Exhibitions include a solo show Toy at Vitrine Gallery and group shows at Floating Island Gallery, WW Gallery, Studio 1.1 and Galleries Goldstein.