Sean Edwards was born in Cardiff in 1980
He graduated from the Slade (MA) in 2005
and is currently represented by Limoncello, London
and Tanya Leighton Gallery Berlin.
He currently lives and works in Abergavenny, Wales.
A conversation between Tom Bardwell, Sean Edwards and Jacques Rogers, February 2010
Tom Bardwell: Your show at OUTPOST seems to differ somewhat to some of the gestures we associate with your practice. Whereas other shows have been made up of small, (seemingly) autonomous sculptural objects whose culmination start to generate meaning, this show constitutes a single gesture that physically integrates the gallery and its architecture. How does this work relate to the rest of your practice?
Sean Edwards: I’ve been thinking for a while about the accumulative gestures, and the shows as installations, and the dependence of work on work, but what has always been at the core of the work, even the small sculptural objects is their relationship to site and the architecture of the space. Many works are ‘completed’ in situ. In that sense this show is no different, in fact this work has been made with the intention to tour, which is sometimes difficult with the sculptural objects. With Maelfa I wanted to strip the gestures down to one focal point, in order to distill that. It’s an attempt to try and draw out what it is that I’m doing. It’s the continuation of a line of inquiry that begun with the work Nebraska CBS25100 I made for Limoncello show last year.
TB: Perhaps a difference in this work is that it does not rely so heavily on the gallery context to generate meaning. Film as a material does not seem to have the same kind of explicit dialogue that some of your casual-looking sculptural constructs have with art making.
SE: I’ve used video before, and treated it very much as an extension of sculptural practice. I’ve also made one 16mm film, lap steel, that I think extended that line of enquiry further through the film’s materiality. I shot this on video rather than film, to avoid some of the connotations that came with film. The dialogue isn’t as implicit as it’s clearly a clean digital medium, whereas the sculpture is rooted in the physical studio of dust. I don’t think the sculptural works have meaning generated by the gallery context, it’s generated either by a physical context-a height of a step, or length of a wall, or it’s created by a historical context. There was a work I made called Maybe something like the way it should have been, a C-Type print that shown at my first show at Limoncello. It shows a mid-way shot of the installation I made for associates- based in the gallery that became Limoncello. It was shown as an object within an installation but I think it perhaps shares more in common with this new work than the objects it was shown alongside. I think film and video as a material can have a very explicit dialogue with art-making. There doesn’t seem to have been a lot of shows at OUTPOST that use single channel video projections, despite the space lending itself very well to it. The last was the film month almost a year ago. Why do you think that is?
Jacques Rogers: I think there is something quite bold about presenting a single gesture for a show. Maybe this show will encourage people to do it more. Why did you paint the gallery grey?
SE: The video is punctuated with moments of darkness and light. Grey is in between. Black album + White album = grey album. It was a technical thing - darkens the room, creates less reflection. It was also a method I used to use with the installation based shows, I would often paint the gallery as my first task, often an imperceptible grey. A way of claiming the space and learning about it, before installing the work.
JR: What’s your favorite supermarket and why?
SE: I don’t like supermarkets. They are over lit, too much about perfection and solving all your problems in one place. If I had to pick I guess Tesco for its blue and white stripe graphic. There is a carrier bag they made late 70’s early eighties that is absolutely perfect, though their branding has moved much more toward an Asda hideousness in recent years. Nothing profound as a closing statement I’m afraid.