Sarah Myerscough: UnEarthed
The Sarah Myerscough Gallery presents Eleanor Lakelin’s solo exhibition Unearthed, which explores the ultimate and classic vessel form.
A series of monumental sculptures, embodying a profound soulfulness in relation to time and nature, standing proud and poised. It was the classic vessel form that has always inspired Eleanor Lakelin, artist and maker in wood. The solo exhibition UnEarthed, presented by the Sarah Myerscough Gallery, attempts to explore Lakelin’s inspiration.
With its innate humbleness, this utensil has been essential for thousands of years; it is embedded in our shared memory and we feel ever-drawn to its ancient shape. Lakelin’s sculptures hold a similar mysticism and ethereal space, however, a new narrative is immediately apparent through the scale and sheer ambition of their distinguished forms.
Yet, it is not just their size that leaves us spellbound but the artist’s intense creative engagement with the material through intricate surface carving and treatment, as the wood is bleached white or scorched black in metamorphic processes that symbolize both fossilization and rebirth.
The surface qualities of the works gesture towards hidden terrains, eroded and undulating passageways that reflect on ancient cultures and archaeological relics, fragments of time past as the title of the show, UnEarthed, suggests. In this way, the pieces participate in a dialogue that traverses time, space, culture, and materials.
While tying us to the past, they simultaneously reflect on our future relationship to the natural world. The fleshy, granular surfaces and exposed nodules of anarchic burr engage us in the complexities and resilience of nature, while also visualizing its fragility in the face of human consumption.
The artist reminds us that renewal is not inevitable and ecological survival remains uncertain. Nevertheless, as an anatomical reaction to visitant afflictions, burr represents a buoyant act of restoration, and Eleanor’s sculptures stand resolutely like columns in ancient ruins, speaking of persistence and longevity. Their graceful stance returns our minds to the original tree that stood as a silent sentinel and bore witness to the passing epochs around it.
The Sarah Myerscough Gallery presents Eleanor Lakelin’s solo exhibition UnEarthed from the 23rd of June until the 21st of August.
Cover image: Eleanor Lakelin Echoes of Amphora Vase III, 2020, Horse Chestnut. Image credits Michael Harvey and courtesy of Sarah Myerscough Gallery.