Dellasposa is honoured to present ‘Ashes’, the gallery’s first exhibition dedicated to one of Britain’s most important young sculptors, Guy Haddon Grant.
Identified by The London Evening Standard as a face of the future and a winner of the Wates Foundation’s Diana Brooks Prize, Haddon Grant was elected a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors in 2016.
Harnessing and transforming the vitality of our atmosphere, then steeping it in a sense of our own environment, Haddon Grant captures a much darker and more complex story, fit with our times. ‘Ashes’, which comprises sculptures and drawings attests to the ever-intensifying dexterity with which Haddon Grant employs his materials, ideas and form. It teems with contrasts, with reference to the ephemeral quality of time and space, emptiness and visibility, and ideas of presence.
Haddon Grant’s highly compelling sculptures – elaborate masses of effervescent cloud formations – depict the form of the transient world. As in a photograph, his sculpture immortalises a moment in time, allowing for an infinitely long observation of this event. While it is photography that allows us to perceive phenomena that escapes the human eye, Haddon Grant’s remarkable work presents a moment in which clouds of smoke float, suspended in the air, rising from fissures deep within.
The artist’s formative years were spent in Florence, Italy, where the idea of his sculptures arose. The unfinished vitality of the Academia and the twisting energy of the Rape of the Sabines resided in the artist’s mind when he was making the cloud totems. The sensuous nature of the body has become an undercurrent here, informing the visceral abstractions of the form.
Haddon Grant uses charcoal in his sculptures, powdered and mixed with resin to become looming cloud totems that appear charred, cracking and shrinking in space. Light is absorbed into the undulating surface as the pigment is inherently non-reflective, making the works appear flat from a distance, their multi-dimensional complexities revealing and opening as the viewer approaches. Playing with the binary relation of monochrome, the artist’s white sculptures appear as allusions to the silk-white ashes left over from the dust and debris of a great fire or volcanic eruption.
Guy Haddon Grant’s drawings are an additional layer to the complex visual anachronism, and are integral to the sculptures. A deliberate attempt to remove an external context; rather than direct mark making, Haddon Grant coaxes soot - tilting the paper this way or that, seeing what it has done. He treats the drawings as a performative act in response to the movement of the candle as it flickers, evolving from the point of observation as emotion and instinct take over expression.
Haddon Grant’s soot drawings are an impression of a presence that has been; carbon is the shadow of volatile compounds from the burning light.