Deborah Bell: Sentinel
Everard Read London
Zone 5 - South Kensington
80 Fulham Rd, South Kensington, London SW3 6HR, UK
until 3 Oct
Mon-Fri | 10am-6pm
Sat | 12-4pm
Everard Read London presents Sentinels (2020), a major exhibition of new monumental sculptures as well as new paintings, created over the past two years by Deborah Bell, one of South Africa’s most eminent and critically acclaimed artists.
At the heart of the exhibition are eight towering, 2.5-metre-high sentinel figures. Gathered in a semi-circular formation they create what is unmistakably a votive space.
Cast in bronze, their origins trace back to the series of nine sentinels the artist made in 2003. Those sentinels drew some of their inspiration from the columnar figures and statuary which Bell was looking at during this period; they became like guardians, observers occupying a place of stillness and reflection.
Bell views the new Sentinels (2020) as quite different from the first and original set: “They grow out of the clay as if they are growing out of rock. They are elemental - part of the earth. For the last few years I have explored the materiality of flesh and its connection to our earth. I’m aware that so many cultures in their religions and myths talk about the creation of man from clay. I work in clay to create or reveal a human figure, but I also sense that clay knows how to become rock, and that clay itself is formed from the weathering of rock. This cycling of rebirth interests me - it touches some deep knowing that I am unable to explain.”