Monday, 7 May 2012


A couple of minutes’ walk away from Piccadilly Circus is a pretty hidden garden. So hidden in fact that it took 2 trips for me to locate it. St James’s Piccadilly is a landmark church whose courtyard is covered with stalls selling crafts and antiques, plus the spill-over tables and chairs from next door CafĂ© Nero. The way through to this little oasis of peace and quiet, the Southwood Garden, is not obvious, but its lawns, steps, statues and benches are worth finding. It’s dedicated to the bravery of Londoners during World War II.

In one corner stands Large Owl (for B), a preview to Houseago’s debut exhibition at  the Hauser & Worth Gallery in September. It will be there until July 22nd. It’s a head and shoulders portrait, as it were, with all the bits (like wings) associated with lightness and flight cut away. Delicate  feathers are transformed into ‘weighty cylinders, coarsely daubed onto the surface to build the sculpture into one cohesive form’.
It’s cast in bronze and stands on a redwood plinth. So with those great empty gaping eyes  contrasting wth its solid appearance, it’s a watchful presence, unceasingly vigilant, a sentinel. But even its tough, rough surface - which retains the marks of trowel and hand - is a paradox. As I run my fingers over Large Owl, I feel the texture of a sand castle.

No comments:

Post a Comment