Aaron Angell

Aaron Angell’s work at the Gallery of Modern art was elegant, unconventional and a real pleasure to see. His use of non-standard materials for his sculptures were magical oddities that owned the space that they inhabited.

His first piece of work was A Large Wardian Case. This artwork was, without exaggeration, wonderful in every single possible way. The Wardian case used was on display for the first time in over twenty-five years, and it certainly felt special. The case, which is said by GOMA to be ‘from around 1860’ and ‘one of the finest ever made’, was made even better by the beautiful plants contained within it. It was almost like witnessing a mini rain-forest existing within some sort of prestigious glass cage.

The rich greens and dark reds worked well with the black and gold details of the case. Even the textures of the mossy plants and ferns that the artist had chosen to plant and their contrast as they pressed against the smooth glass was very visually satisfying.

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Next was a sculpture called Villa Wasp Mattress Demonstration, which was definitely an odd piece of artwork.

When we think of sculptures, we tend to think of them to be made from hard materials such as stone or marble, so it was shockingly interesting to see a sculpture which consisted of a bouncy air-filled mattress with blocks of cement inside of it.

The contrast of the cement within the mattress was quite enjoyable to see – had the cement came in contact with the mattress it seems like it could potentially pop and destroy the piece entirely, making you question how it got in there in the first place. Overall, this was not what you would class as visually appealing (at least not in a stereotypical way), but it was thought provoking nonetheless.

It pushes the boundaries of what a sculpture can be and explores the different possible themes within that artistic area.

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The next three pieces were stunning and were titled Cineraria 2017. The beautifully crafted stoneware boxes glistened in GOMA’s light and each one looked solid in its structure, yet also like they should be handled with great care.

The texture on each box was remarkable; crusty, built-on lines and shapes – one even had a cat perched on top of it and was a soft green colour. The boxes looked like some sort of old-fashioned jewellery holders, but they were in-fact urns ‘intended for the remains of married couples’.

Much like the Large Wardian Case it felt like a true privilege to be able to witness, in person, such tremendous pieces of artwork. If anything, this exhibition is a must-see based purely on Cineraria 2017 alone.

 

Finishing the exhibition was the Scalar Cabbage Demonstration 2017 made from pigs blood cement and a giant flatpol cabbage.

Although, this was just a cabbage in an over-sized plant pot that you could possibly find in your local B&Q, it was difficult to not find this work impressive. The actual pot was very large in person and was cool to look at. The lush green colour of the cabbage compared to the rustic reddish brown colour of its pot were nicely complimentary to one another and, looking at it, you can’t help but wonder how the artist went about making it.

 

This exhibition was wonderful and included artwork that was both unique and beautiful. The sculptures are unlike anything that you will have seen before and their odd shapes and large proportions make them even better; they were a real spectacle in the gallery and demanded attention from whoever stepped inside.

The craftsmanship portrayed on the Cineraria boxes was undeniable and the sheer visual appeal of A Large Wardian Case is excellent, not to mention that the use of such a prestigious piece is definitely worth seeing.

This exhibition will be displayed until the 18th of March, so there is still plenty of time to see Angell’s work for yourself.

You can read an article on Aaron Angell here

 

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