The New Art Centre is proud to present a new exhibition of work by Bill Woodrow in the gallery at Roche Court. Woodrow has long been regarded as one of the most inventive British sculptors of his generation and he continues to experiment with the forms and materials of sculpture, so it seems entirely appropriate that the centrepiece of our show is a large new object that defies clear categorisation. At first glance, 'Lost' is a bound book containing a series of woodcuts which portray a mountainous landscape at dusk and at dawn. Unfolded to its full length - some 8 metres - and displayed on a plinth, the 'book' then becomes a sculpture, the individual images opening up to become a panorama. Further pages fold outwards to become supports and reveal rivers and lakes.
To a certain extent, the exploration of two and three-dimensions in 'Lost' is a reference to some of Woodrow's earliest works made whist he was a student at St Martins, in which he combined image, object and performance to create visual conundrums. However, the book as a motif has also featured in a number of Woodrow's later bronze sculptures, sometimes on a monumental scale, such as 'Regardless of History' - the second of the Fourth Plinth projects - and 'Sitting on History' at the British Library. 'Lost' also chimes with Woodrow's enduring interest in the natural world, a source of inspiration which has resulted in some of his most compelling images. Indeed, further works in the show, comprising sculptures and drawings, examine the systems and cycles of nature and our uneasy but vital relationship with them. Hence the portrayal of phenomenon such as the Aurora Borealis or the 'Black and White' sculptures depicting aspects of Inuit life, are also imbued with political and economic messages.
Bill Woodrow (b. 1948) studied at Winchester School of Art from 1967 to 1968 and at St. Martin's from 1968 to 1971, before spending one year at Chelsea School of Art. His first solo exhibition was at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1972 and he has continued to exhibit around the world. In the early 1980s he represented Britain at the Biennales in Sydney (1982), Paris (1982, 1985) and Sâo Paulo (1983) and recent exhibitions include 'Fool's Gold' at Tate Modern in 1996 and 'Bee Keeper' at the South London Gallery in 2001. Several exhibitions at the Royal Academy have featured his works, including 'Earth: Art of a Changing World' (2009) and 'Modern British Sculpture' (2011) and in 2013 his work was also the subject of a major survey exhibition there and was accompanied by a comprehensive book on his career by Julia Kelly and Jon Wood (Lund Humphries). Woodrow was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1986 and was elected a Royal Academician in 2002. Additional sculptures by Bill Woodrow will be shown in the sculpture park at Roche Court, including 'Rockswarm', Celloswarm' and 'Wherever I Lay My Hat'.