GENUS: Small Works & Concepts from the Studio
From Friday 12 May 2017
Another title to describe this collection of works might have been simply ‘Maquettes’. In many ways some of them are. Smaller works designed to illustrate the capability and potential of the larger scale, but it all sounds rather lifeless, and as a word, it takes us away from the point of these works in Laurence Edwards’ creative process.
They are evolutions and explorations often to their own end around a central theme. A host of ideas springing from the same point of origin, related but evolving. A Genus of ideas urgently pushing like nature for existence by evolution. There is no sense in Laurence’s work that one has succeeded better than the other, no search for a superior, just manifestations of the way that ideas, like nature, constantly evolve…whether we want them to or not.
Laurence’s work aims directly at the connection we have to the earth, as representations of our own identity, which they unquestionably are. They remind us of our clay origins, and that life is both burden and celebration.
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.
Christopher Le Brun PRA praised Edwards specifically for his ability to blur the boundaries between man and nature. And organic forms continue to literally influence his work, be it Suffolk grasses mixed into the process clay, or cast into elements that transform his figures into something allegorical or mythic.
Based in Suffolk, he trained at Canterbury College of Art and then at the Royal College of Art, where he studied bronze casting and sculpture with Sir Antony Caro. After winning a Henry Moore Bursary, the Angeloni Prize for Bronze Casting and an Intach Travelling Scholarship, he studied traditional casting techniques in India and Nepal, an experience that not only influenced his treatment of form and technique, but also gave him the necessary tools to establish his own atelier.