Michael Sandle, Queen of the Night, 1999
Like Honey from a Weed features work by the renowned post-war sculptor Lynn Chadwick RA, Huma Bhabha, Michael Sandle RA and the emerging artist Sam Austen.
Separated by almost fifty years and disparate identities, these works speak of different times yet echo universal and transhistorical themes of terror, fascism and displacement. Inspired by a diverse range of references including science fiction, post-colonial studies, war and early film animators, these works conflate depictions of the future from different historical contexts in order to create extra-terrestrial works suggestive of a dystopian future. Working within an expanded field of sculpture and cinema, the immersive work True Mirror by Sam Austen depicts a menagerie of sculpted heads that float and rotate over 3 screens to a discordant soundtrack. Physical and sculptural, this work creates an immediately unsettling and chaotic experience, mirroring the cacophony of contemporary politics. There is a masterful and lamenting beauty in the forsaken figures of this exhibition. Mobilized by the artists’ disillusionment with leftist politics, the works reflect on the irreversible horrors of the past and objectify the violence often incurred in the pursuit of democratic progress. Taken from the title of Patience Grey’s seminal 1980’s cookery book, which meditates on the possible transformation of earth into goodness, Like Honey from a Weed warns of the dangers of forgetting, but hopes to still dream of an alternative in the face of the rising right.