Phyllida Barlow makes large-scale work from what she describes as ‘low-tec, mundane materials’, such as house paint, Plaster of Paris, discarded plastic and wood. She applies these materials to the traditional craft of sculpture, where she interrogates the possibilities of form, mass, volume, space and scale.
Often the complex internal construction of a work is revealed, showing pieced-together frameworks that appear battered, damaged, worn, repaired and mended. The construction is minimal, sometimes appearing unstable, and surfaces are often splattered and daubed with paint, the forms partially disguised or disfigured in what the artist describes as an act of emotional release.
BALTIC commissioned Barlow to create a major new installation on Level 4. Entitled Peninsula, Barlow made confrontational large-scale forms as well as smaller more intimate works. Strewn across the expanse of the gallery, the works explored the geographical and physical characteristics of the site. This new work was based on a series of recently realised projects which combined physical precariousness with emotional intensity - to a point where the structures appear to be on the verge of collapse or implosion.
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