Julian Wild’s new sculpture, showing in the Lobby of One Canada Square for the first time, marks a significant development in his thinking as a sculptor. These highly polished bronze and steel pieces, portions of a number of which are powder-coated red, are metaphors for new experiences he has seen and absorbed.
The title Stripping the Willow provides a significant clue, and refers to the process of stripping the bark from willow or withy stems in preparation for basket weaving or making woven fences. Wild’s main studio is now in East Sussex, having moved from living and working entirely in London, and here he has become aware of aspects of woodland management. The woodsmen’s working processes have fed into his imagination and thence into his sculpture quite naturally.
Wild has used line in his work since the early 2000s in the first stages of his professional career. At that time he saw it as a network to describe form. Later on it took a complex zigzagging course along the length of his sculptures, changing direction to create masses that could be read as volume in his painted sculptures, sometimes the colour changing as it progressed along the length of the piece. The simplicity of these concepts continues to be deceptive as visually some works are complex and perceptually tricky to unravel.
In the new sculpture made this year especially for the exhibition, Wild has taken the line and peeled part away, or has split it, curving half of the form back from its ‘stem’, as though the bronze or steel were as flexible as a whip. In a number of these pieces, inner parts are revealed through his use of red, which contrasts with the highly mirror-polished metal, and also calls to mind more visceral imagery.
Lobby, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
29 June – 15 August 2015
Monday to Friday 5.30am – midnight
Saturday & Sunday 7am – 11.30pm