Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Eric Bainbridge: "Northern Art Prize" Leeds City Art Gallery, UK

Eric Bainbridge
Recently Eric Bainbridge experienced culture shock in Bangkok. There on a British Council residency Bainbridge speaks of a place of extremes where the sacred and profane coexist and merge, the artist’s awe and terror embodied in Bangkok’s river – the Chao Phraya – a constant brown ooze from the heart of the jungle, a place where you don’t survive. As a result of this trip Bainbridge has produced a series of new ‘Bangkok’ sculptures that present a New Modernism. His cool refined structures articulate space and modernist architectural ideas as a strategy of escape from the engulfing sweaty humidity of a city known as much form a western eye for its cheapness of life and sex industry as it is for its traditional heritage of religion and culture. Despite the artist’s attempts Bangkok seeps back in through the tropical hardwoods of Thai DIY stores, fake melamine, and a cheap looking novelty light bulb winking flirtatiously from purple to blue to green to red…

Nominated by Paul Moss and Miles Thurlow, Directors, Workplace Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne