Ann Carrington’s glittering sculptures examine the underside of historical extravagance


#ann carrington #art history #flowers #metal #sculpture

August 1, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Sugarland”, steel, silver and nickel-plated spoons. All images © Ann Carrington, shared with permission.

In the Netherlands, in the 17th century, a golden age was in full swing. The economy of dutch republic, as it was then known, flourished as Antwerp and other ports became important hubs for commercial maritime trade, importing and exporting textiles, spices and metals, and the cities’ population grew . Elaborately detailed oil paintings depicting food on the table or incredible flower arrangements were popular additions to the homes of wealthy merchants, but a more disturbing genre of still life painting also emerged during this period of history. huge growth.

Known as Vanity, the paintings are replete with symbolism intended to emphasize the futility of earthly pleasures and the futility of seeking wealth, power and glory. When the British artist Anne Carrington visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, she describes in Architectural Summary that “looking at those photos of half-eaten food and wilting flowers, I realized that one of the only things that might have survived until today was silverware, and I thought, ‘Don’t wouldn’t it be fun to try and make something of that?'” The works in it Bouquets series (previously) combine hundreds of kitchen utensils into extravagant floral sculptures.

The use of abandoned and found objects is central to Carrington’s practice, particularly when they can be layered and draped in multiples. Strands of beads and ornate brooches adorn the shape of a ship, which is weighed down by its cargo as much as it embodies it, and a pair of caribou antlers are fashioned from pitchforks with handles made from dozens of wood. “Mundane objects such as knives and forks, barbed wire, pins and paintbrushes have their own ready-made stories and associations that can be unraveled and analyzed if rearranged, distorted or realigned to give them a new meaning as a sculpture,” she says in a statement. Similar to how Vanitas’ painting reminded viewers of the less romantic side of rising wealth and expanding empires, Carrington’s material choices are a reminder that beneath the shiny surface there is often a dark side.

You can find more information about the artist’s work on her website and instagram.

“Sheng Fa Wave”, steel, pearl necklaces and brooches

Detail of “Sheng Fa Wave”

“Orb Weaver”, steel frame with brass insects

Detail of “Orb Weaver”

“Southern Belle”, steel, silver and nickel-plated spoons

“Madame Moullière”, silver, steel and nickel-plated spoons

Detail of “Madame Moullière”

“Oberhasli”, silver plated knives and forks

#ann carrington #art history #flowers #metal #sculpture

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