Helios Rising | Veronica Wilton
2 March - 30 April, 2022 | Close Ltd, Hatch Beauchamp, Somerset TA3 6AE
Veronica Wilton's first solo show with Close Ltd leads you through a narrative of folklore and mythology that dwells within the objects she sculpts and casts. Seen here is “Buteo Buteo”, (2014), a work that comprises a pair of bold yellow hawks, placed a distance apart, poised, eyes level with our own. Each has its head turned fully around, to fix its gaze on the other. The wings are folded - possibly at rest - but potentially, ready to explode into movement. They emanate a strength and singularity, suggestive of the natural world. Standing between the two, we are already inside. We are invited into an environment of Wilton’s theatre settings or architecture, indefinable, silent storytelling or surreal riddles.
Other works use exact reproductions which revel in the method of casting, fragile works, displaying Wilton’s mastery of her craft. The work references historical art genres, still life and its ability to offer an understanding of the cultures of the past, through reworking and materials of the present. The darker mystic side to Wilton’s work, holds a spiritual tension of the sacred and superstitious nature of objects, umbrellas, scissors, brooms all hold a magical fairytale presence. We sit between equilibrium, conceptual conviction and aesthetic concerns, that reflect a real pleasure of making.
At first glance, Wilton’s objects are recognisable, identifiable things, but in the next, they seem to become intangible, - often deliberately layered with multiple possible readings.
“I think the sense that you know exactly what you’re looking at evaporates quite quickly. My work brings my delicate, abstract experiences into a more concrete, physical reality.“ Veronica Wilton
Wilton was born in 1965 and emigrated to the USA in 1968.
2021 Solo Show with Meakin + Parsons, Oxford, OX29 9XD
2009 Grant from Arts Council England for R&D of ‘4 x 4 Gallery’
2009 Grant from South Somerset District Council for R&D of ‘4 x 4 Gallery’
1999 Individual artist award from Oppenheim - John Downes Trust
1995-97 Curated ‘Siteworks’. Organised a series of commissioned artworks for public places in and around the Bankside in London. Siteworks won support from Fred Manson OBE, (former Director of Regeneration in Southwark & key partner behind Tate Modern). A national project, Siteworks was funded by Arts Council England, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, London Arts Board, Foundation for Sport & Arts, Southwark Council, and business sponsors. Invited artists and architects included Andrew Grassie, Mairéad Mclean, Kenneth Butler and Marigold Hodgkinson, Billie Lee of Horden Cherry Lee, and engineers Whitby & Bird. Co-organised with Isobel Bowditch. Published ‘Siteworks’, ISBN 0 9531643 0 6, 44pp, with text by Isobel Bowditch Phd.
1995 London Arts Board Research & Development Award for Siteworks R&D
1995 Curated ‘Under the Sign’, an exhibition of site-based work made for a disused, Grade 2 Listed building near London Bridge. Backed by Southwark Regeneration.
1994 ‘Tricks of the Trade’, solo exhibition and symposium, Byam Shaw School of Art at Central Saint Martins
1993 ‘Raft of the Medusa’, Institute for Contemporary Art, London; a collaborative project led by Philip Courtenay
1991 Artist award from Paul Hamlyn Foundation
1990 ‘New Contemporaries’, group show at Cornerhouse, Manchester (site specific)
1989 Biuro Wystaw Gallery, Poland. Study visit and group show by UK artists
1989 ‘New Contemporaries’, group show with Damien Hirst at ICA, London, (site specific) selected by Iwona Blazwick, Sacha Craddock, Nicholas Logsdail, and Richard Wilson RA.