Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Ben Turnbull

'I Don’t Like Mondays' is the title of British artist Ben Turnbull’s new series of work, a collection of school desks into which various lethal weapons have been carefully carved. A vivid statement on the sad reality of contemporary school life for the kids of today – the ever-present threat of violence, weekly knifings in London schools, massacres such as those at Columbine and Virgina Tech – the desks bring something new and unexpected to the traditional technique of carving.  The way the objects partly emerge from the wood makes them seem like half buried artefacts, waiting for an archaeologist of the future to unearth them and try and guess what a chaotic, violent time the early Twenty-First Century was.

Apparently Turnbull himself was something of an unruly pupil and was expelled from two schools, so it seems there’s also something autobiographical about these works; carving your name in school property is surely a right of passage for any young misfit. With this series he takes that idea much further, and creates something striking and very unsettling.

Lesson 3, 2009

Lesson 5, 2009

Lesson 6, 2009

Lesson 4, 2009

Lesson 1, 2009

All images © Ben Turnbull/Eleven Fine Art

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