Conversation: An Exhibition of Figurative Sculpture


14 October - 3 December 2000

Conversation is an intriguing exhibition of twenty-two figurative sculptures in a variety of media, mostly by well-known British contemporary artists, such as Tony Cragg, John Davies, Antony Gormley, Julian Opie and Marc Quinn, but it also includes some unexpected pieces, such as a 3rd century BC painted terracotta figure and a 20th century wooden Lobi Shrine Figure from Ghana.

Selected by the Gallery’s Director Stephen Snoddy, the sculptures will be displayed in such a way as to invite visitors to see how the works might ‘speak’ to each other, and consider how to interpret the ‘conversations’ established between them. The arrangement or configuration of the sculptures is, therefore, just as important as the individual works, with the exhibition acting as one large tableau.

In what might be termed a game of ‘musical statues’, the sculptures will change positions at least once during the exhibition, to allow different conversations or readings to be found between the works.

The gallery’s free guided tours on Wednesdays and Sundays will be used to invite visitors to engage with the displays, by encouraging them to identify these possible ‘conversations’ for themselves. The exhibition offers visitors the chance to see a selection of figurative sculpture by some of the country’s best-known contemporary artists. It contributes to the discussion on the continuing development of figurative sculpture and offers the opportunity to consider such themes as private communication and human exchange, silence and darkness, life and death, the inner self and the outside reality. There is no catalogue for the exhibition but each work will be accompanied by an extended wall text.

Press Release