Nature Girls

1996
Bronze
x 100 x cm
Edition of 6

Laura Ford's work often considers the effect of sculpture in a landscape. Stump Girl is Laura's attempt to make a sculpture that would ostensibly appear to be part of the landscape, but upon closer inspection is actually anomalous and strange. Stump Girl takes the form of a regular tree stump animated by a pair of little girls' legs. The later Conifer Girl and Bush Girl which complete this unruly trilogy, contribute to the works curiosity. When brought together these three works give rise to questions of identity, intent, fear and humour. As these works are essentially depictions of children they provoke parental concern, that cannot be appeased as they remain beyond our reach. The sculptures are made in a traditional material, bronze, but employed here to create a contemporary and original scenario. In this sense Laura Ford he has used bronze and the conventions of monumental sculpture to subversive effect. Conifer Girl and Bush Girl are in a sense quieter works than their counterpart Stump Girl, which possibly makes them more malevolent. All three works posses the innocent joy of girls playing in the wood and the bleakness of children gone missing. Nature Girls are uneasy, but comical and Laura Ford holds a view of nature which, like sexuality, is at times romanticised but is brutal and cruel. These contradictions of repulsion and seduction are equally present in this work, where all of Ford's girls are simultaneously egotistical and aggressive yet innocent, shy and sweet.

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About The Artist

Laura Ford works with soft fabrics, materials, found objects and bronze to create obstensibly sweet depictions of fantastical characters, such as animals wearing clothes and little girls from clichéd fairy-tales. Ford overrides any notion of sentimentality by placing her sculptural characters in contentious and sometimes menacing situations, such as homelessness, despondency and fear. Through an acute observation of the human condition Ford is able to create works which possess uncanny undertones and address the unease and violence of socio-political power struggles. She achieves this by blurring the line of the sweet, safe and familiar world of children with the realist and cynical world of adulthood. Her anthropormorphic characters often appear lost in a nightmarish world of reality; as if they have suddenly landed without prior warning of the difficulties of contemporary capitalist existence. Ford is expert at conveying the societal imposition of the problematic passage from innocence to adult experience.

Laura Ford

Born: 1961

Other Artworks by Laura Ford at CASS

2007

Rag and Bone with Bin

This painted bronze sculpture, commissioned by Turner Contemporary in 2007, is a distorted depiction of Beatrix Potter’s…

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