John Wallbank at Arcade Fine Arts


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Strategies of mapping, whether they be environmental, physical or architectural, define the artistic profile of John Wallbank, who simultaneously intersects the lines between drawing and sculpture through an ecology of material becoming. The graphic trait, sophisticatedly elaborated through the digital - Drawing, 2006, is analogue to the function of his sculptures, both exploring the distance between the raw material given by nature and the artist's approach to the surroundings. By confronting the chaos of heterogeneous accumulations, the mimetic approach of John Wallbank consists of processing the material until reaching the very essence of its elements (glass fibre, resin, cotton fabric), similar to a carving depth. In his work, sculpture is conceived as a process of sublation between voids and masses from where the artist experimentally explores the material morphology by prototyping sculptural models via spatial extensions, sequences and scales. Interested in the adherence to natural and human forms as in classical sculpture, John Wallbank draws upon the register of tradition to prospect a new sculptural inventory where geometry is replaced by mapping, form by processes of in-formation, and composition by strategies of spatial extensions. It follows that the physicality of his work is marked by the elasticity of material intensities in between sculptural components, which experimentally investigate the mutability of shapes between concavities and convexities, lines and folds. The physical mapping of landscapes is a strategy informed the artist's interest in climbing, which analogously to sculpture, requires a direct observation of lines and crosses between rocks, measurable only by bodily extensions and the mastery of tools. Moreover, this metaphor finds a stylistic reference in the work of Kurt Schwitters who, by defining his artistic process, whether sculptural or graphic, famously stated: "Stone upon stone is building" (Schwitters, 1993). By mastering an imperfect equilibrium between concrete and abstract, chaos and synthesis, sedimentations and altitudes, in Wallbank's hands, sculpture becomes a trans-formative process of withdrawal from the phenomena of immediate experience.

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87 Lever Street
The City
0207680 0428

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