“Whenever I see a new work by Laurence Edwards, I feel I am being confronted by an ancient and archetypal myth: something to do with metamorphosis and transformation and the nature of what it is to be human – part angel and part beast.” Julia Blackburn, author
A major presentation of work by sculptor Laurence Edwards is on show at Messums Wiltshire showcasing large scale bronze figurative sculptures together with small scale maquettes and studies on display for the first time, offering a comprehensive survey of his working process.
One of the few sculptors who casts his own work, Laurence Edwards is fascinated by human anatomy and the metamorphosis of form and matter that governs the lost-wax process. The driving force behind his work is bronze, an alloy that physically and metaphorically illustrates entropy, the natural tendency of any system in time to tend towards disorder and chaos. His sculptures express the raw liquid power of bronze, its versatility, mass and evolution, and the variety of process marks he retains tell the story of how and why each work came to be.
As the largest exhibition of his sculpture to date, this show presents the culmination of 10 years of work and development for Edwards. A ‘Tribe’ of giant bronze ‘Walking Men’ stride through the barn, amid a body of other large-scale works. These have been created during an incredible period of growth for the sculptor, a time that has seen 26 foot high figures cast, monuments to the miners of the north and exhibitions around the globe. The exhibition will introduce motifs nurtured and evolved over a long period in the studio, finally realised with the expansion of his foundry in Suffolk.
On display at the same time, ideas and working studies that relate to the main body of work in the barn, are revealed. These experimental works, trials and test pieces show risks that are taken in the studio, fleeting ideas made permanent by the delicate and precise casting facility that Edwards and his team have developed. Bronze, acting as a sealing agent for a myriad of materials including ply, clay, stick, plaster, steel, leather, string, plant and modelled forms, collage and collide in this fascinating journey through the sculptor’s studio and mind