A sculpture/installation for Ukraine
at the Global Peace Forum 2022
The sculpture/installation ‘RISE’ exhibited here against the backdrop of the magnificent John Piper modernist stained-glass window in Coventry Cathedral as part of the Global Peace Forum in November 2022. The work, comprising twenty-four sunflowers, clear acrylic tubes, red liquid, black plinth is a celebration of the strength of the Ukrainian people to rise out of the bloodshed of this awful war while at the same time performing the function of a memorial to those who have sadly lost their lives during the conflict.
The History Tiles
These sculptural works form part of my ongoing research and investigation into the Anthropocene, the geo-epoch denoting the time man has had an effect on our planet.
In particular the reference here is to an astonishing but now widely-understood fact, as reported in New Scientist magazine, that ‘When humans are wiped from the earth, the chicken bones will remain’. Our reliance on cheaply produced poultry (currently around 60 billion birds a year are consumed) will leave a clearly defined strata of bones on the earth.
The tiles are cast in solid jesmonite from real bones and finished in ultra high gloss colours more reminiscent of automotive paint finishes than natural objects.
‘All We Ever Wanted Was Everything / 24.02.22 (for Ukraine)’
JUNE 27 – JULY 8, 2022 / Solo exhibition of painted and installation works at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford.
View photos from the Maths Institute exhibition here
‘All We Ever Wanted Was Everything / 24.02.22 (for Ukraine)’
This work was conceived as an interactive sculpture/installation and was initially the result of a commission from the world-renowned Mathematical Institute at Oxford University to produce one of my large knot sculptures, orginally inspired by the work of mathematician and knot theorist, Clifford Hugh Dowker (1912-82).
I decided to to take advantage of this prestigious commission to make a humanitarian work to raise awareness of the appalling situation in Ukraine and to help the local community of Ukrainian refugees in Oxford and sourrounding area.
Members of the public and the Ukrainian refugee commmunity were invited to add their own voices to the installation by contributing messages on post-it notes and whatever else they wanted; within days it was covered with notes.
Sadly, after two weeks, following consultation with the heads of department, I decided to move the work to a more traditional art environment at Fusion Arts – photos here in the city centre, as a senior member of staff had ‘taken serious offence’ at my use of art to support the Ukrainian refugees – see below.
“This display makes me vomit!” says Oxford University professor
A senior member of the teaching staff at the Mathematical Institute made it very clear what he thought of my interactive sculpture/installation ‘All We Ever Wanted Was Everything / 24.02.22 (for Ukraine)’ by leaving a particularly blunt (signed) comment (see photo).
I requested a conversation with the person in question so I could try to understand why he found my work ‘seriously offensive’. In his opinion my work, made in support of Ukrainian refugees during this dreadful humanitarian crisis, was an ‘act of aggression and war’ against the ‘other side’.
In over 100 messages and ‘engagements’ from members of the public and the Ukrainian refugee community this was the only unpleasant comment left. I metaphorically wear this comment now as a badge of pride, and in the subsequent exhibiton of the work at Fusion Arts in central Oxford it was framed and exhibited with an explanation (redaction of name by me).
Feature and interview about the work on Ukrainian national TV
I was interviewed by Nataliya Klauning for national news in Ukraine and was asked about my inspiration for the work and how I came to be involved with the Ukrainian community in Oxford. The answer to the second question here is through the University of Oxford Ukrainian Society who first connected me to the Ukrainian people arriving in some number since the start of the war in their country.
SOLO EXHIBITION – ‘AWAKEN’
12 AUGUST – 2 SEPTEMBER 2021 / DARL-E AND THE BEAR GALLERY, WOODSTOCK, OXFORD
an exhibition of new painting, sculpture and video – an artist statement and outline info can be downloaded here
More photographs from the show –click here
Andy Bullock is an interdisciplinary artist working across all media. His work encompasses many diverse themes, often underscored by a strong interest in the personal and interpersonal and what makes us fragile; human. He has several large projects currently in production including a proposed long term ‘Legacy’ series looking at the impact of humanity on the planet in this period of great change and uncertainty – now widely referred to as the anthropocene.
Knot Variation Paintings
These paintings form part of a large and ongoing body of work based on mathematical knots that I first conceived while undertaking a two-year MFA (master’s in fine art). I often refer to these as unpaintings – you will find some background to my thinking on this subject here. The work was originally inspired by the life and work of noted mathematician Clifford Hugh Dowker (1912-82) – most well known for his endeavours in the field of topology, including sheaf theory and knot theory, all widely studied today. The paintings here alongside sculpture, photography and video installation will all go to create a new, planned show ‘The topological consequence of being // and the space between us’ It is hoped that the first public exhibition of the work will be at the Andrew Wiles building, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford in Summer 2021. More painting and sculpture from the show click here.
‘The Rape of Gaia’ 2021
A new work in the ‘Anthropocene’ series.
Strictly limited, signed, dated and numbered prints soon to be issued in various formats and sizes.
Aluminium mounted giclee large format prints, photographic c-types and unique silkscreen prints.
Early enquiries and print reservations please email here.
‘God Bless America’ 2005/20.
103cm x 125cm x 3cm, cast plaster, razor wire, barbed wire, acrylic.
I made and first exhibited this sculpture as part of the ‘Peace Not War’ campaign during the (second) gulf war in 2005.
Sadly today (time of writing 4th November 2020) it feels as frighteningly relevant as when it was first conceived.
Strange days indeed.
The Demon Studies (2020)
These paintings were made in May 2020 when the UK was in the throes of Covid-19 pandemic fear and the surreal world of near total lockdown.
They are genuine ‘stream of consciousness’ works, neither pre-planned nor pre-imagined. They took on a life of their own and subsequently became the basis for a more considered response in the form of some 3D sculptural pieces currently in production and provisionally known as ‘Tensile Distortions’.
The paintings are all acrylic and oil pastels on paper – various sizes.
More work from the project can be seen here.
Bone Shadow Paintings (2020)
‘Obsidian – deep/dark (Bone Shadow V)’
40cm x 40cm – acrylic on canvas
The first steps towards a new body of work reflecting the effects of the Anthropocene on the planet. These paintings reference the widely understood notion that in one million years time (by which time the human race will almost certainly be extinct) the most significant geological marker that the future’s archeologists are likely to find, as evidence of our occupation of the Earth, will be chicken bones. We currently consume 65 billion birds per year, the majority of which will end up in landfill sites; the perfect environment for future fossilisation. See more paintings in the series here.
A selection of these paintings now currently showing at Darl-e and the Bear gallery in Woodstock, Oxford.
‘The End of Days (Black Narcissus)’ 2019
Outline concept for a series of screenprinted works and a multimedia installation involving sculpture, film and sound. This work is supported by the text of an essay written in 2019 which examines the prevalence and tendency towards ‘Ultra Narcissism’ among some of social media’s most prolific users.
‘Smartphones, social media and the rise of the Ultra Narcissist – a case of Lacan’s lament?’