Mixed Media Sculpture: Hunter
Artist: Candida Powell-Williams and Mark Davey
Location: Opposite The Courtyard, Langwith
When Marcel Duchamp’s ready-made urinal, entitled ‘Fountain’, was exposed to the public, realist artist George Bellows indignantly complained: “you mean to say, if a man sent in horse manure glued to a canvas that we would have to accept it?”
Duchamp’s answer would certainly have been “yes, yes they would.” The public continue to be fascinated and outraged by modernist works of art with often-impenetrable artistic meaning. In defiance of Bellows incredulity, they accept the inanity of modern art and revel in its controversy.
Artists Mark Davey and Candida Powell-Williams from the Slade School of fine art have followed in Dada’s footsteps. Hunter, an open-air environmental sculpture constructed from various materials, does at first appear to be- as one observer put it- “a large ball on stilts.” Its imposing presence, however, has generated divisive opinion on the installations enigmatic meaning and has therefore achieved its ultimate goal: to get people to engage with the art piece.
Mark has described the aim of his work as being “to animate the otherwise dull and stationary components of everyday life and make them extraordinary.” He adds, “The act of making is incredibly important. All the events that happen along the way are very much on show; the mistakes, the decisions and the remnants of the creator’s hand hopefully steer the work very clear of it becoming very slick beautiful objects.”
And it is the interactive process of this installation that makes Antonia Shaw’s curation so unique. York students and visitors have the opportunity to observe the development of the project over the course of the two days. They can track its progress from the artist’s initial concept right through to its final dismantling.
It is the ability to observe the creative process, and less so the creative product, which makes Hunter so fascinating. It is an imaginative and unique way to unfurl the creative process to spectators accustomed to observing finished pieces of art in indoor exhibitions. They have surely done Dada proud.