2 - 17 December 2006
P. P. Priestley’s inaugural exhibition at Bloc fills both the gallery and the outside courtyard. His large-scale sculptures of anthropomorphised churches function as elegant formal sculptures, whilst simultaneously constituting the elements of an installation that presents a carefully constructed narrative. Left as basic wooden frames, these personifications of the Christian Church are stripped bare of their function and exterior trappings and appear to perform deviant acts. One lays crumpled in a heap in the gallery while another appears to be trying to climb the gallery wall.
Priestley’s smaller works, constructed from parts of dolls and model animals, are presented in sometimes disturbing tableaux, juxtapose sado-masochistic, religious and bestial imagery.
Priestley’s use of automata has been prevalent in his work for a number of years. Using DIY mechanics he creates kinetic sculptures that often use solar power as an energy source. His sculptures contain archetypal and symbolic imagery: angels, winged horses, cherubs and demons.
“Most of the work depends on what materials I can find to recycle at the time”, he says. “I’ve used windmills, waterwheels, bicycle pumps and hand-cranked generators – all my materials are things that other people have thrown away”.
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