Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Works of Metal
'Construct XV A' by Barbara Kasten, 1982
One is Glaswegian, the other from Chicago, but both Sara Barker and Barbara Kasten are artists who create interesting structures with metal. They are appearing in a joint exhibition at the Mary Mary Gallery on Northington Street, London, which runs until the 23rd November.
Born in Manchester, but living in Glasgow, Sara Barker is currently running a parallel exhibition in her home city. Her most recent project includes unusual wall mounts, which have been made especially to fit within Mary Mary's gallery space. Black painted aluminium acts as a canvas for entwined rods of brass and steel. Unlike your typical wall paintings, these are 3D sculptures that just out and demand attention. They remind me of broken bits of shopping trolleys, window frames, and other things you might find on the tip. Yet there is an unique beauty about them; perhaps it is the unusual shapes that Barker has formed, which gives the sculptures an almost mathematical quality - as if it were the framework for a CGI model.
I maybe taking completely the wrong reading from this, however, because in contrast to my interpretation, the press release suggests that Barker took reference from 'language and literature', and is actually exploring organic growth and 'interlocking body forms'. I suppose it is up to each individual to take what they will from it.
Accompanying Barker, is the Chicago based artist, Barbara Kasten, with a combination of recent and past works from the 1980s. Kasten, like Barker uses materials such as metal sheets, as well as mirrors, paper, and fabrics. Her sculptures, however, are not the final product. Once finished with the physical construct, Kasten then brings her photography skills into play. Shooting the structures from different angles, zooms, and heights, she creates abstract images. Extreme magnification of the scratches on plexiglass or tears on paper shows the audience the material's true properties, but at the same times distorts it beyond recognition.