EXHIBITION: Laurence Edwards ‘A Gathering of Uncertainties’

Starts: 13th September 2019
Ends: 4th October 2019

Messums London
28 Cork Street


Messums are delighted to announce a double show of works by sculptor Laurence Edwards. The show is in divided into two parts, with large-scale public and private commissions on view in Wiltshire and recent works and studies in Cork Street. Encompassing works from the studio and a presentation of commissioned pieces including the unveiling of the Sainsbury Centre “Man of Stones” Laurence Edwards’ sculptural work engages the aspirations of existence with the muddy sinews of reality.

Edwards’ is a creative titan who uses the bronze casting process as his tool of artistic expression and he is the only sculptor in the country that has his own foundry, harnessing the casting process to his creative output. Bronze casting – the entire exhibition is made of the metal – is an alchemic process, passed on like DNA from generation to generation. Edwards has studied bronze casting more than most and built his first foundry on the Suffolk Marshes.

The technique has long been the domicile of the talented craftsman, the bronze pouring alchemist who transformed an artist’s clay ambitions into lofty bronze sculptures behind closed doors.  It was not the preserve of the creative, in fact he should not really be there at all, craft and art being often considered of the same root but not the same branch. Edwards is uniquely alone in this fertile territory moving seamlessly across those perceived borders.

The narrative in Edwards’ work is explored in an accompanying catalogue written by Calvin Winner (Deputy Director and Head of Collections at the Sainsbury Centre) that includes an essay by Piers Vitebsky (Head of Social Science at the Scott Institute, University of Cambridge).

A large part of Edward’s autumn was spent on the Russian tundra with anthropologist Piers Vitebsky, studying reindeer herders whose lives have been led in almost total isolation. They offer a unique insight into the passage and rhythms of life and times unchanged, a visceral symbiosis of survival with both reliant upon the other. Vitebsky has been studying and living with the Northern Russian reindeer herders since 1988 and was the first westerner post Revolution to visit this remote land. His primary research is their responses to climate change.

Work exhibited in this exhibition distils those experiences, layering onto those that have gone before, much like the marshes on which Edwards’ figures first walked and the miners of Doncaster where his public commission goes on show, they are built up by the process of accretion, layer over layers.

The online catalogue and artwork details will be available from mid August. Enquire about the upcoming show: [email protected]

For details on the Messums Wiltshire exhibition click here