Shanks’ Pony | Unit 3 Projects

PV Sat 11th Nov, 2 – 5pm
Exhibition continues 12th Nov till 21st Nov by appointment (
Open Sat 18th Nov, 2 – 5pm.

Unit 3 Projects | 3 Empson St, London E3 3LT

Shanks’ Pony 

Solo exhibition by John Bunker

Taking its name from the old English term for the most basic form of human transportation when all others have failed- walking– Bunker’s new show presents visually complex and dynamic abstractions born of the most modest of means and materials.

These works are meticulously constructed from the flotsam and jetsam of city streets and charity shops. Pizza boxes are transformed into charged and compelling sculptures; the contents of old picture frames- their window mounts and backing boards, and the images they enclose- are colonised and repurposed into a rich, ludic, abstract language all their own.

Bunker explores the fragmentary and collagic nature of contemporary reality; yet, in doing so, invokes both a bygone analogue world of suggestive abstract shapes conjured from the phantasmagoric transformations of obsolete, lowly materials, objects, and images, and the outmoded artistic ideals that underpinned it.

Just as Walter Benjamin, in his ‘Arcades Project’, looked back on 19th-century Paris to understand the momentous changes wrought by Capitalism, Bunker looks back to the convulsive transformations of 20th-century art and culture, the better to understand our contemporary condition. It is, perhaps, Benjamin’s invocation of the ‘Angel of History’ that feels most pertinent to Bunker’s collagic enterprise:

“The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such a violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress. “

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