Created and Sold by Ivan Smith

Ivan Smith
Public Sculptures by Ivan Smith seen at Barker Gate, Nottingham - Underpin


Item details

‘Underpin’ was a site-specific concrete installation incorporating a series of 24 man-made large concrete pillars and a selection of site-specific photographic socio/architectural/political images. Each individual image being trapped inside its own concrete coat, which viewers could access through slits carved out of one side of each concrete pillar.

The concrete pillars were architectural in form, referencing the imminent construction of a major contemporary visual arts centre for Nottingham – the Centre for Contemporary Art Nottingham. Somewhat harsh in appearance, these forms carried the symbolic future of the new building and the city on its shoulders, while the photo documentary of the still images inside the pillars root the experience to the present, similar to a time capsule. The layout of the pillars in a rigid formation created a sense of stability, like foundations for an impending structure; their scale and material place you in a cemetery-type environment, headstones rather than pillars.

The exhibition was dedicated to the memory of Ian Skoyles 1964 – 2006.

Commissioned by Future Factory at Nottingham Trent University.
Supported by Colin Watkin and St Mary’s Church.
Funded by Arts Council England

Context & Credits

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Ivan Smith

Meet the Creator

Robert Clarke (The Guardian) wrote that 'he reveals a world in which there is always some threat lurking behind the most inoffensive forms.'

Ivan Smith was born in Mexico City in 1965. He has lived in the UK for many years, gaining a BA in Fine Art in 1988.

During the 1990s Smith spent seven years developing site-specific nocturnal one-night-only exhibitions in the West Midlands with the artist-led Fine Rats International. Alongside this, he developed his own projects, residencies, and exhibitions in the UK and abroad, eventually moving to Derby to take up the Fellowship in Sculpture at the University of Derby, funded by the Henry Moore Foundation.

Ivan draws on socio-political issues to inform his sculpture and installation work.

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