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Daisy Collingridge


6 October - 11 November 2023


Thursday 5 October

18.00 - 20.00

Frieze West End Night

Thursday 12 October

18.00 - 20.00


Unit 199, Borough Yards, London SE1 9PA

VIP Preview Monday 9 September

18.00 - 22.00

Public Hours 10 - 15 October 2023
11.00 - 19.00

TJ Boulting is proud to present the first solo show of British artist Daisy Collingridge. The core of her practice is an exploration and celebration of the human form, working across sculpture, photography and performance, she delves into its anatomical properties with exaggerated flesh and limbs, harnessing a tactile and haptic quality of softness and colour. This new work presents for the first time wall-based sculptures with more formal concerns, that continue this theme of the human body but in a flat frieze-like formation around the wall of the gallery inspired by the compositions of Greek and Roman vases, Matisse’s La Danse and the movement of choreographer Pina Bausch. 

Splanchnic (pronounced ‘splank-nik’) is an anatomical word relating to the viscera or internal organs of the abdomen, derived from the Greek word splankhnon meaning organ. For Collingridge the word itself represents something new and unknown, but which relates to something entirely existing already in her own body. It is this fascination with how we are all composed internally of things that we have no understanding or concept of, that intrigues Collingridge. Her work is a physical rendering of those things invisible and internal, making them external and tangible. Growing up with parents who were medical meant the body was something quite matter of fact and not to be shied away from, this was followed by a formative experience that awoke her curiosity further at the historic exhibition Body Worlds by Dr. Gunther von Hagens, of real anatomical bodies, which she saw as a child in London in 2002. Similary through the realms of public sculpture with Damien Hirst’s giant painted bronze anatomical figure of the body, Hymn (1999-2005).

Her own human forms are made from hand-dyed jersey, the fabrics separated into various hues of pink, ochre, yellow, and orange. Then they are quilted and stitched to create sinews and bodily shapes. “I essentially push this technique, where I free machine and quilt sandwiched layers of fabric to the extreme, so it is no longer recognisable as quilting. Each layered section mimics the line of muscles and flesh. It’s a way of sculpting with soft cloth; layering and stitch give the sculpture its rigidity and structure.” They are genderless characters, emphasising how universal we all are on the inside. The technique of quilting also evokes storytelling and narrative. The composition of the bodies are life-size and animated in a formation recalling dancers and puppets, basic flat components that together evoke movement simply and rhythmically around the room. Some of the fabric forms are spray painted on top which give them the allure of paint on canvas. They are at once sculptural and painterly. Despite the huge skill involved in her creations, Collingridge is continually inspired and humbled by her muse: “I have to accept that nothing I can make will ever come close to the complexity and beauty of the human body. It is good to be reminded of this fact.”

In the second room of the gallery she returns to a previous character of her recent ‘wearable’ sculptures, so-called as they were worn underneath by herself and her family, and given the names Burt, Hilary, Clive and Dave. This time she has created a giant head of Burt, usually worn by Collingridge herself, the head being the source of the character for her. As it sits on the floor, this time it is the viewers themselves who are invited to crawl inside the form and be surrounded by the world of the internal made visible, the distortion of scale being both unsettling and cocooning. The entire room surrounding the head likewise becomes a purposely built experience to envelop you in a habitat of colour and tactility. Previously she photographed her wearable sculpture set in a domestic interior, the colours reminiscent of her childhood home, playing into feelings of warmth and reassurance. By carefully controlling and creating their depiction it transported them out of the real world to exist in their own slightly hum drum and dreamlike. For Collingridge her characters are emotive and endearing, here she is inviting us to become lost in their world of her creation, rather than extracting them to join us in ours. 

Daisy Collingridge Splanchnic: Current Exhibitions
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Daisy Collingridge Splanchnic: Exhibitions
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