To the Table, 2009
Sculpture and Drawings by Sheila Gaffney and Carl Plackman

27 June – 22 August 2009

Huddersfield Art Gallery

Untitled (after Civilisation as Barbarism), 2009
plaster, wax, woods, native ash and sycamore, gold, concrete, glass, gesso, bronze, giclee prints
209cm x 53cm x 100cm

This exhibition is the second in a series of six shows (Dialogues) that feature the work of artists living and working in the West Yorkshire region. The artists have been invited to engage with and make new work in response to the collection at Huddersfield Art Gallery. Sheila Gaffney selected the drawing Civilisation as Barbarism, 1984 by the artist Carl Plackman.

To the Table is an exhibition that brings together earlier work made by Gaffney seen alongside pieces by Carl Plackman from the collection. The starting point of a surface or table provided Gaffney with a vehicle on which to begin her conversation and this developed into a new sculpture Untitled (after Civilisation as Barbarism), 2009.

Through the technique of transcription Gaffney has rendered a sculptural version of Plackman’s drawing. She began a dialogue initially with the selected drawing but also two pieces of earlier work that she made for her Slade graduation show in 1984, Feeding the Feathered Shell and The Density of a Lace Curtain.

In Untitled (after Civilisation as Barbarism), 2009 the rigid analytical drawing is coupled with the very contrasting means of free association where Gaffney has drawn upon previous work. She has re-used and re-cycled details from earlier work to make her new sculpture.

In their work both artists use everyday objects that are often cast into wax, glass, bronze or plaster. When these familiar objects are presented devoid of their function they take on a poetic quality that we can begin to make relationships between and interpret. Whilst Plackman’s sculptural language is domestic and utilitarian, Gaffney’s is more intimate, fragile and draws on the act of remembering. Plackmans’ work is often concerned with how objects or made, function and relate to each other. Gaffney’s work explores how things are known or experienced.

In Untitled (after Civilisation as Barbarism), 2009 details have been fabricated in Native Ash and Sycamore by Adam Brown

Photography: © Jerry Hardman-Jones

Dialogues - Huddersfield Art Gallery
Dialogues - Huddersfield Art Gallery 2

Download a pdf of Exhibition Invite

 Civilisation as Barbarism   Carl Plackman 1984 
 Transcription   Sheila Gaffney 2009 
 To the Table   Gallery View 
 wall:Puritan's Cabinet/Plackman1999   foreground: Gaffney 1984 
 wall: The Way / Plackman 1983   foreground: Gaffney 1982