Art for the Artist’s Sake
by Ellen Bell
A small woman in a dark floral skirt, her handbag strapped hard across her chest, is shuffling around Oriel Davies’ main gallery, beaming. ‘What’s that?’ asks her husband. A diminutive man in a bomber jacket and baseball cap with a Coed y Dinas hemp shopping bag over his shoulder, he is pointing at a large phallic form tightly encased in cling-film. ‘It’s a… it’s a PERSON’, she replies. Both equally satisfied with this explanation, they link hands and move on.
The form, Mummified Sculpture, is by Nnena Kalu, one of the thirty-four artists represented in the ‘Radical Craft’ touring exhibition currently on display at Oriel Davies, though it could just as easily have been by Louise Bourgeois or Sarah Lucas or David Kefford. There is a lot of that in this show, a kind of double-taking. But who is doing the emulating? For though unknown and unknowing these artists are originals.Buy the issue or subscribe here