Mark Tanner Sculpture Award Residency Presentation
Rob Branigan and Finbar Ward
Exhibition: 17-22 January 2020
Standpoint Gallery presented a new exhibition by Rob Branigan and Finbar Ward, produced during a 6-week residency at Standpoint.
Working collaboratively, Branigan and Ward researched the ways in which urban botanical support structures mirror the societal support structures that surround us. Support for plants and trees does not just come in the physical form of a stake, trellis or a tree tied up. There is a wider institutional notion of support, seen in allotments, public gardens and parks
The London clay that makes up the body of sculptures in the gallery was dug up at Plot 29A, Paddock Allotments. It contains a slew of material and fragments of street clutter, from the areas surrounding Standpoint. The dried botanical waste that has been pressed into both sculptures and works on paper was gathered from Boundary Gardens, Hoxton Square and St. Leonard’s Church Gardens. Allotments, public gardens and parks are positive institutional spaces in this urban environment, and their importance is paramount to the nurture and growth of a city.
The proverb ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ - originally meant that those who constantly move avoid responsibilities and care, they grow no roots. It is now understood to mean that you must keep moving to avoid stagnation - how our view of ‘moss’ has changed; we are at odds with everything we touch.
Rob Branigan and Finbar Ward studied together at The Ruskin School of Art (2013). Rob went on to study at Royal College of Art (Sculpture, 2019), and was recently a finalist in the Robert Walters Young Artist of the Year Award at Saatchi Gallery (2019), and has been selected for Salon Acme’s Open Call in Mexico City (2020). Since graduating from The Ruskin Finbar has work included in a number of international collections including The Saatchi Collection and The Cooreman Collection. Recent shows include Holiday from Rules (Kustraum, London, 2019), and Autumn/Winter (Guekens De Vil, Antwerp, 2018).