|LAURA FORD 'ARMOUR BOYS' - Press Release|
|Armour Boys is a new solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed sculptor Laura Ford and will premier at the Royal Scottish Academy. The culmination of her Scottish Sculpture Workshop Residency in 2004, Armour Boys developed from her interest in the armoury displays at nearby Fyvie Castle and through preoccupations of past projects such as 'Wreckers'.
Five small bronze, armour clad figures lie scattered, lifeless. Their limp, twisted bodies seem to have been violently thrown about, discarded and forgotten. A far cry from the traditional suits of armours in museums and grand halls they challenge concepts associated with warfare. Although at pains to limit the narrative of her work, Armour Boys are hugely empathetic works and it is their very humaneness which draws on the viewer’s involvement on so many levels. Children's war games become all too real reinforcing the plight of child soldiers and more than that the vulnerability of all children around the world, made even more poignant by the current wars in the Middle East.
Another motivation for the works came from a newsreel from Palestine. 'To the sound of gunfire, a father and his son are running across a road together. They seem to reach cover, but as they do they boy jerks and falls to the ground. The camera stays on the father long enough to get his stunned reaction to his son's newly floppy body...' (Duncan McLaren in conversation with Laura Ford).
Laura Ford says of her new project ‘It is hard to believe that the soldier striding forward, engaged in battle, full of adrenalin, when struck down, can become so quiet, so without life, so still. Armour Boys are not only about our tendency to violence but also our sense of invulnerability which is instantly and shockingly reversed in the presence of death.’
RSA Exhibitions Coordinator Colin Greenslade comments on Laura Ford 'She reinterprets our heritage and retells it poignantly and succinctly, dragging age old issues to the fore and suggesting them to us as a comment on contemporary life. An experience we can relate to that has wider relevance than our own history, community and country.'
Laura Ford represented Wales at the 2005 Venice Biennale and recently exhibited at the Hayward Gallery London, Aldrich Museum Connecticut, ICA London, Manchester City Art Gallery, Aberstwyth Art Centre, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Beaconsfield Gallery London, The Dick Institute Ireland, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea. Work in collections include Tate, London and the Arts Council of Great Britain. For more information on Laura please visit www.houldsworth.co.uk
There will be a range of screenings, workshops, talks and events for all ages on the theme of children at war including the screening of ‘Lost Children’ & ‘Rebels without a Cause’ at the Filmhouse and youth rap workshops with former child soldier Emanuel Jal. In association with Amnesty International, City of Edinburgh, National Museum of Childhood, Filmhouse the Scottish Sculpture Workshop. This exhibition is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Henry Moore Foundation and the Scottish Arts Council. A catalogue with an essay by Duncan McLaren will be published to coincide with the exhibition. Please see attached sheet or check
www.royalscottishacademy.org for further details.
Teacher-led school visits
Throughout the exhibition a regular programme of teacher-led schools visits are being offered to all Edinburgh school primary 6 and 7 classes. Schools packs with workshop sheets and teachers notes are available. Contact Susan Junge at the RSA on 0131 225 6671.
Children/ family visits
Activity sheets also available for children and family visitors to the RSA and Museum of Childhood. Please ask the gallery staff for details.
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