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Steven Claydon

‘The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups’

21 Woodlands Terrace, Glasgow, G3 6DF

22 April – 9 July 2017

Steven Claydon is known for sculptural work that examines the changing value of objects – aesthetic, functional and financial – a theme that has become more pertinent against the backdrop of threats to cultural heritage internationally. Working with a range of carefully sourced and fabricated components, encompassing the arcane and the high-tech, Claydon plays out the processes whereby objects come into being, accrue meaning, and endure and transform through environmental and cultural shifts.

For his exhibition at The Common Guild, Claydon presents a group of new works spanning sculpture, installation and sound, in which he addresses the ideas of jeopardy and pressure. Claydon’s work often draws a parallel between physical pressures – such as those experienced at great depth, altitude, or in a vacuum – and the subtler kinds of pressures that are imposed on objects in terms of how they are used, viewed, presented or aestheticised within any given social or institutional context.

Within and between the works in the exhibition, Claydon poses the question of whether objects and concepts – emancipated from specific uses and contexts – possess a counterpart to the evolutionary survival strategies seen in humans and animals.

In parallel with Claydon’s exhibition in Glasgow, The Common Guild is co-operating with Mount Stuart Trust (Bute) as part of its contemporary visual arts programme on 'The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Introduced Species’, which runs from 3 June - 29 October 2017.

‘The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups’ is supported by the Henry Moore Foundation. With thanks to Industrial Gases company BOC, leading subsea operations and manufacturing company JFD and their National Hyperbaric Centre.

The exhibition will be Claydon’s first solo show in Scotland, continuing the organisation’s reputation for bringing important international artists to Scotland for the first time. Claydon’s exhibition in Glasgow follows a new commission as part of ‘The Persistence of Objects’, an exhibition curated by The Common Guild for Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland, in 2015 and a series of major exhibitions in Geneva, Bergen and London.

Steven Claydon (b. 1969 in London) lives and works in London and has worked in music and video as well as sculpture. In 2016 he was one of four artists shortlisted for the first Hepworth Prize for Sculpture.

He has exhibited widely over the last 20 years, including solo exhibitions at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway; Centre D’Art Contemporain Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland (both 2015); Firstsite, Colchester (2012); and White Columns, New York, USA (2006). He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions and biennales including Manifesta 11, Zurich and ‘Solid Liquids’, Kunsthalle Munster, Germany, (both 2016), 'The Persistence of Objects' curated by The Common Guild for Lismore Castle Arts (2015); ‘Busted’, High Line Commission, New York (2013): British Art Show 7: ‘In the Days of the Comet’, Hayward Gallery, London; Glasgow, UK; Plymouth, UK (2011); and ‘Rings of Saturn’, Tate Modern, London (2006).

Claydon has also curated several exhibitions including ‘The Noing Uv It’ for Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, together with Martin Clark (2015) and ‘Strange Events Permit Themselves the Luxury of Occurring’, Camden Arts Centre, London (2007).

Read the review by Adam Benmakhlouf in The Skinny
Read the review in The Scotsman