Francis Upritchard is a contemporary artist from New Zealand born in 1976. Studied at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Shortly after graduating in 1997 moved to London.
In 2001 Upritchard co set up an art space in Hackney, the Bart Wells Institute, that featured different artists, in a warehouse type building. She also has featured works in the Saatchi Gallery in London. Won awards overseas and featured many solo exhibitions including Venice representing her home country New Zealand and also back in New Zealand where it all began.
The Wetwang Slack Exhibition ran at the Barbican Curve Gallery back in 2018
‘Wetwang Slack’ Iron Age site
The “Wetwang Slack” comes from an Iron Age archaeological site in Yorkshire, that found bones, burial site and items from the Arras culture.
A brief look up online indicates previous themes that might cause one to hesitate and wonder if the artworks are going to be morbid, creepy or this new buzzword being used to describe gruesome topics “Challenging”. No disguises from us. We ask beforehand if anything is likely to be graphic gruesome, forensic, morbid. Whilst we can not comment on other places where this artist features. This exhibition was safe in terms of it being free from the above themes.
The contemporary Art of Francis Upritchard
Francis Upritchard is a sculpture who made a name for her self in her early career by turning found objects into modified representations. She then moved on to making contemporary Human Figures.
Francis Upritchard wetlang Slack Exhibition was at the Barbican Curve Gallery 27th September 2018 – 6th January 2019
If you have not yet visited the Curve gallery you are in for a surprise. The C shape of the curve gallery sets out a staggered set of model human figures. Very colourful and diverse.Things that resemble, fossils or primitive bone shaped items, dinosaurs etc.
Materials used to make a Francis Upritchard sculpture
A vast mix of materials on display, Sculptures made in polymer clay, over a wire frame, rubber, paints, pottery, textile.
Upritchard’s artwork features items that look like they come from an archaeological find or a museum. Lots of brick a brack style pieces are reformed and brought back to use.
Balata A rare rubber from Brazil
Information is provided at the Barbican Gallery about this, as they provide a free map of the exhibition. The handout gives a good explanation of the artist’s link with this Rubber. In short, it involves a process managed by Darlindo Jose De Oliveira Pinto, who exclusively only supplies to limited places and people. This Artist is one of them.
We noticed that the range of cultures and types of artefacts was wide-ranging, Sculptures of modern looking people and quite ancient.
Moving onto colourful small textile hats, that range geographically, culturally as well as being from different periods of time perhaps.
Displays move onto hanging shelves of these little textile objects and the hats, diverse colours.
A delicate glass cabinet of delicately shaded opaque ceramic or glass looking pots.
On a side table of more traditional looking pottery with these small perforated holes, cut out faces.
Later on one of the ceiling lights also carried the same cut out of a face.
At the back of the exhibition, the items are consisting of simple mono colour with primitive intentions. It almost seems like a journey of the evolution of sculpture, colour begins to appear and the complexity of shapes and materials evolve.
How to get to the Barbican Curve gallery
Don’t forget this great exhibition has ended