Immigration, patriotism, domestic abuse and the pandemic will be at the centre of a new contemporary art installation coming to Left Bank in the New Year. Available to view from January 13th , ‘Monster’, by renowned sculptor and artist Giles Walker, is a timely, provocative kinetic installation which explores some of the most challenging and disturbing issues that face modern Britain in the contrasting setting of our striking former church.
‘Monster’ was first exhibited at The Truman Stables, London, in December 2020 and makes its North of England debut at Left Bank. The installation features several haunting animatronic sculptures, made out of scrap materials including high heel shoes, lamp shades and prams in Giles Walker’s Brixton workshop, which visitors can immerse themselves in by walking in and around the sculptures. The accompanying soundtrack, which has been orchestrated by Paul Hartnoll from legendary electronic duo Orbital, is equally as haunting – featuring dialogue on some of the most divisive topics of our time, including Brexit, the treatment of refugees and the current political landscape.
Giles Walker has been building sculptures for the last 27 years. Initially a full-time member of the guerrilla-art group, The Mutoid Waste Company, he started building pieces from materials found in scrap yards as the collective travelled around Europe. It was in the mid-nineties that he introduced basic motors into his sculptures and his work became kinetic. In 2012 his show 'Peepshow', which saw him create two pole dancing robots, was critically acclaimed and went on to tour internationally.
‘Monster’ is the second significant contemporary art installation that Left Bank has hosted this year alone, following the success of Leeds-based artist Pippa Hale’s ‘Heaven’ in the spring.
Giles Walker, the artist behind ‘Monster’, comments: “’Monster’ started with the idea of building a piece that played out the insecurities and pain of a nation in the midst of a communal nervous breakdown. A nation in ill health. I even gave the animatronic characters persistent dry coughs, which of course took on a heavier significance by the time the piece was exhibited post-pandemic. The piece is inherently political and is intended to provoke, captivate and disturb, and I hope that the people of Leeds leave feeling more intrigued than when they arrived.”
‘Monster’ is at Left Bank from 13 - 29 January 2022. Viewings are FREE and tickets will be released on 2nd December 2021.