Following from his successful presentation at Paris Internationale, British artist Jack Lavender is creating an installation of new works that continue his focus on time as a subject matter.
As a whole, Lavender’s practice attempts to investigate how his own personal narratives run concurrently with external and universal ones. He uses found materials and images and recontextualises them to make his various installations and sculptural collages.
Lavender’s new exhibition Baggy to Bootcut in The Annexe is comprised of enlarged drawings printed as PVC banners, stone sculptures and appropriated business cards. The drawings are bound to memory: Jack takes an object with either personal meaning (a piece of jewellery) or historical significance (a prehistoric bone) as the subject focus and creates a drawing, then a drawing of that drawing from memory, and then another. The obsessive and repetitious process leaves the viewer with an image resembling something almost recognisable, almost meaningful; an image that sits in-between. By printing onto PVC, Lavender stretches the slippery nature of reproduction even further and through the process of enlarging the drawings to large-scale banners, Lavender highlights a moment of shift in scale in order to provoke a differing exchange between the work and viewer.
The sculptures featured in Baggy to Bootcut are made from stacked naturally forming flint stones found in and around Margate (where Lavender resides). The sculptures resemble cairns and the ritualistic practice of piling stones on top of one another within rural landscapes as a memorial or landmark (for example, Stonehenge or Avebury). The artist makes use of pre-existing serendipitous holes within the stones’ formation to stack onto a pole, one on top of another.
Lavender employs display strategies that engage with non-hierarchical modes: sculptures outside or directly on the floor without the use of plinths, and a plethora of scattered printed flyers on the floor of the gallery space. The flyers, which are ostensibly local taxi-cab business cards, inhabit a bind to history and place. Taxi-cab firms as we know them are becoming increasingly redundant and anachronistic, being outmoded by the introduction of companies like Uber. The breadcrumb trail of cards illuminates the juxtaposition between the function of time both as an applied concept (as a marketing or advertising strategy), and also in and of itself (that, with the real passing of time, a true, authentic history writes itself).
Jack Lavender (b. 1983, Canterbury, UK) lives and works in Margate, Kent. Selected exhibitions include: When We Look Outwards in Space We Look Backwards in Time, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; A Hardcore Stomping Flashback, The Approach, London, UK; Stones, Recent Activity, (2017); Teen Paranormal Romance, The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Chicago (2014); Jack Lavender, Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2014); Dreams Chunky, The Approach, London, UK (2013); Paradise Garage, Eighty One, London (2013); Chimera Q.T.E, Cell Projects, London (2013); Young London, V22, London, (2012); Jack Lavender, Oliver Osborne, Marco Palmieri, The Approach, London (2012).© Jack Lavender. Courtesy The Approach, London. Photo: Plastiques.