Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Sarah Lucas, NUDS (2009-10)

On walking through the gallery entrance of BAS7, I was greeted by the NUDS - peculiar, intertwined, contorted creatures, seemingly not of this world.

At first glance Sarah Lucas' tangled creations, initially reminded me of the lugworm burrows I'd seen on visits to the beach - twisted like an abstract intestinal knot.

Looking more closely at these alien-like organisms, something looked familiar - the creatures were stuffed "tights"! By stuffing the "tights", Lucas created "limbs", which could be manipulated to meander in loops and knots - sometimes bulbous and irregular in shape, but all with the same degree of smooth outer surface.

The creatures seemed to have a sexual ambiguity - nether male nor female, but in some respect, suggest a couple entwined in the throws of passion, unable to see where one ends and the other begins.

However, these organisms also seem to be in a state of unconsciousness - oblivious to the outside world, perhaps in an embryonic state - curled up, in a protective foetal position - or reminiscent of laboratory jarred specimens.

Lucas’s NUDS also reminded me of a Henry Moore sculpture I had seen on a visit to Edinburgh in April, outside the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Both artefacts display smooth, organically curved lines and an element of sensuality is evident in each work. The two pieces also display an irregularity in the “limbs” width – slightly bulbous in areas, but also tapered in sections, creating slender yet curvaceous lines to the form. Individually the pieces portray a natural, instinctive fluidity.

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