Caroline Mesquita: Cream Sacrifice
French artist's first solo UK institutional exhibition
Despite being made of heavy metals, Caroline Mesquita's sculpture for Jupiter Artland feels oddly limber, like it might burst into life any second. Its shapes and forms intersect and contradict one another like energetic brushstrokes giving the feeling of something very much alive.
Cream Sacrifice is made up of five life-size components arranged in a circle. All have the same roughly hewn aesthetic; as if they have been welded together using scraps of metals chiseled from enormous hunks of bronze, copper and steel. They are curious things: futuristic and historic looking at the same time.
Standing in the middle of the work, the complexity of the piece becomes apparent. It isn't immediately obvious that the hollow tubes constituting much of the work are limp or flailing limbs. Abstract forms become figurative, and figurative forms return to abstraction.
The strange orphic human forms are shackled to two plinth-like structures as if they have been left for dead and have somehow been petrified and turned to bronze. The haunting casts of cowering men, women and children created in the wake of Mount Vesuvius come to mind. What epic event, real or fictional, is Mesquita's tableaux commemorating?
Jupiter Artland, until 25 Sep, free.