ARTIST:

Brian Griffiths

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Brian Griffiths
Boneshaker, 2003
wood, various
242 x 230 x 500cm

Brian Griffiths is a backyard crusader for the sticky stuff of legend. His monumental scale sculptures are portals for adventure: cardboard box space ships, garbage bin knights, and bathroom caulking astronauts. Boneshaker is a magical time-travelling gypsy caravan, entirely constructed from tables and hand-carved wooden ornaments found in South London antique markets. Griffiths trades on the ‘secret histories’ of the second-hand conversation pieces, using their authenticity to falsify an exotic, more ‘ancient’ history of his own.

Brian Griffiths
Beneath the Stride of Giants, 2004
wood
Length 12m (36ft) Width 2.5m (8ft) Hull Height 2.5m (8ft) Floor to mast height 6m (20ft) Stern Height 3.8m (12ft)

Brian Griffiths is a junk shop Viking; Beneath The Stride Of Giants is his own personal Valhalla. Working entirely with recycled materials, Griffiths’s adventure starts at second-hand furniture markets, each antique table and chiffonier is a conquest towards his ultimate campaign; his galleon is more than just a sculpture – it’s a monumental attempt to create something with real possibility.
For Griffiths it’s simply about matter over mind: mahogany veneer from the backs of Edwardian tallboys bows perfectly for the prow, a Victorian bureau makes for an ornate helm, bizarre little architectural cornices stand in for protective totems of ancient gods and monsters; the sails, made from fabric purchased at a gypsy market in Greece, were lovingly stitched together by his girlfriend.
The impedimenta of mystical voyage, the accoutrements of war; Griffiths creates an armada of imagination, a monumental epic of fantasy and legend.

Brian Griffiths
Peter Lorre, 2003
12 heads plaster and mixed media
28 x 16 x 14cm

Installed like gargoyles, Peter Lorre Time Machine is a series of casts taken from the Hollywood actor’s death mask. Each bust has been dressed to suggest traditional costumes from different historical periods. Norman soldier, Viking, Pharaoh and Caveman accessories have been fashioned from ornate crockery and cheap costume props. Each make-over or new role given to Lorre appears like a belated attempt to breathe life into the character actor’s inanimate features.

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