Laura Ford – Gravity is my friend
25 June 2021 -
31 July 2021
61348 Bad Homburg v.d.Höhe
Opening hours :
Tuesdays to Fridays, 2pm-7pm
'Gravity is my friend’ is an exploration of the often antagonistic desires for safety and pleasure and for power and vulnerability. In seeking to explore these familiar needs the sculptor Laura Ford examines humanity as if we were creatures that have stumbled into unfamiliar territory.
In continuation of her series on couples – Laura presents a pair of owls. Once wise in themselves, now well into middle age, they have expanded at the waist and joined together to form a single entity that appears both comfortable and shocked at what they have become and who look out of darkened eyes on a world that no longer seems to present an infinite set of possibilities.
In a new group of works wetland birds are grounded, seemingly drunk and apparently unconcerned at their own vulnerability. Each is wrestling with gravity, shaped by what supports them. One bird hangs off the edge of a table forming a perfect right angle with its wing and neck, others take the shape of tree stumps upon which they have draped themselves for support while another utilises a part of itself for comfort and in this way a wing becomes a pillow. All the usual controls appear to have been abandoned and body parts that are usually held under tight management take on a life of their own.
In five very large watercolours there are cats swimming in water. Clearly it is not their usual habitat but it appears to be something they are coping with to different degrees of success and, perhaps, in some cases even starting to enjoy. The water is moody. Perhaps it too cold, too hot, or too deep with dangerous undercurrents or perhaps it is merely inconveniently wet. Whichever it is the cat swims on, just sufficiently equipped to do so, occasionally content but often irritated at being a cat that has to swim in water.
On a floral carpet a male and female monkey take a break from the treetops and sit together eating a picnic of fruits. They are relaxed, very relaxed in fact, completely unconcerned by the viewers presence. The work presents a challenge – can we, the viewers, feel relaxed in the presence of their total relaxation?
In a long developing series, Ford has exploited the image of Marino Marini's famous horses on numerous occasions. These horses are always planted immobile, with neck extended, ears pinned back and mouth open. An example, in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, is 'The Angel of the City,' depicting 'affirmation and charged strength associated explicitly with sexual potency’ (Lucy Flint). In Ford’s new work, My Little Marini, she combines this reference with the children's toy ‘My Little Pony', which comes in different colours with long manes and tales to be preened, pampered and feminised by the child. Her horse is also rooted to the spot, immobile with the neck extended, ears pinned back and mouth open but it has, as if his posture was not enough, an embellishment of a golden ribbon around its tail. Mounted astride the horse a little girl sits facing backwards, covered in rosettes perhaps won at a local gymkhana. All heroism is lost, neither horse nor girl are going anywhere.