Claire Barclay’s new installation is entitled Foul Play. An assembly of sculptural forms, it has been created specifically for doggerfisher and continues Barclay’s exploration of the hard-edged and the sensual; the manufactured and the natural, the menacing and the seductive.
Foul Play appears precarious. The weight of a draped silk scarf is just sufficient to prevent a suspended gun-like piece of anodized aluminium from slowly spinning, slipping downwards and unravelling itself free. A taut and twisted length of hide pulls two splayed sections of oak into a curved formation: like a giant catapult, the tension is palpable.
Seemingly incongruous materials are arranged cheek by jowl: on the ground a telescopic-like object lies prone on a crusty, blotchy rawhide. The hide has only been partially tanned, hence its callous and wizened appearance: a far cry from supple and luxurious leather. A wooden structure is propped at an angle into the well of the gallery skylight, a further barrel-shaped piece of aluminium ‘stands at ease’ besides another smooth oak beam. Elsewhere a brass rod has been manipulated in to a vague circular form, at its end is a piece of machine-turned horn. Barclay’s title – Foul Play – itself suggests treacherous activity, but here the paraphernalia of violence is impotent, though an air of anticipation still hangs heavy.
In Gallery II, Barclay shows her recently made silkscreen prints. Commissioned by Dundee Contemporary Arts Print Studio following her 2003 DCA exhibition Ideal Pursuits, they explore the re-appropriation of pattern imagery, in this case the classic ‘houndstooth’ weave.
Claire Barclay (born 1968) studied at Glasgow School of Art and completed her MFA in 1993. Recent solo exhibitions include Half-Light, Art Now, Tate Britain (2004); Ideal Pursuits, Dundee Contemporary Arts (2003) and Some reddish work done at night, doggerfisher (2002). Recent group shows include Zenomap, Scotland’s presentation at the 2003 Venice Biennale and Early One Morning, Whitechapel Art Gallery (2003). Barclay was awarded a 2005 Creative Scotland Award. Future exhibitions include a solo show at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, (October 2005) and British Art Show, 2005 (touring). Claire Barclay lives and works in Glasgow.