12 June 2006, UWE
Laurence Chalk, a Fine Art student, makes large kinetic sculptures, which he describes as â€śabsurd, tragic, sad, funny, pathetic and wonky.â€ť He also likes to make tall phallic beacons and wobbly lamps. A distinctive feature of Chalk's work is his fascination with movement. Most of his work features a mechanical device such as a record player or electric motor which in turn raises a flag, or wobbles a pole.
Laurence says, â€śMy most recent kinetic sculptures, titled 'Wunderbar,' experiment with the emotive and seductive qualities of wobbly poles, precarious light bulbs and creaky mechanisms. Through inventive and playful creation these weird, phallic sculptures will with any luck arouse some sniggering, a few anxious gasps and bit of that haven't got a clue feeling.â€ť
Laurence, who plans to stay in Bristol when he graduates, says, â€śFor me making sculpture is about experimentation and constant tweaking of ideas and beliefs. It is about change, movement, exuberance and simply getting excited about something. Being an artist is full of uncertainty and frustration but it is not so much about doubt but a strong commitment to eternal, faltering optimism.â€ť
PRIMER, Spike Island
Laurence Chalk makes absurd, tragic, sad, funny and pathetic sculpture. His works are an exercise in humorous futility. From flags that wave hopelessly in the dark, to light bulbs that wobble on bending poles. The potential usefulness is always thwarted. They are precarious, yet despite this, they manage to exist comfortably between holding it together and falling apart, Chalkâ€™s commitment to eternal, faltering optimism is always in evidence.A boyish woodshed charm pervades the work with its perfunctory lick of gloss paint and low tech construction. He uses simple and everyday materials to create lo-fi sculptures with punkish twists. He champions a do-it-yourself philosophy and avoids high tech options for the more hands on trial and error kind of making. A distinctive feature of Chalkâ€™s work is his fascination with kinetics. Most of his works feature a mechanical device such as a record player or electric motor, which in turn raises a flag or animates a pole. Any object is transformed by movement whether a flag, the branch of a tree or a plastic bag.