GOLDEN DELICIOUS; NEW WORK by GAVIN TURK: NEW JEWELLERY, SMALL SCULPTURE AND WORKS ON PAPER BY GAVIN TURK

26 February - 2 April 2015

Golden Delicious continues to explore Turk's long established fascination with the ordinary.  Focusing this time on nibbled Rich Tea biscuits (a plain and economic British tradition), and discarded apple cores, the show charts the artistic evolution of these transient objects under Turk's scrutiny; from tea-time accoutrement or habitual snack to artwork and jewel.

 

Tea and biscuits are an essential part of the clichéd cultural history of Britain as a tea-drinking nation. For Turk, the biscuit functions as a kind of symbolic part of the landscape as created and defined by Constable, Henry Moore and William Morris. Nowhere is this more apparent than "Tea Biscuit" in which the biscuit is painted quite literally in tea, the medium used by the great romantic watercolourists to prime their paper before applying paint.

 

Turk is known for juxtaposing medium and subject: Ceremonial Biscuit is a life size solid gold cast of a Rich Tea. Turk revels in the transformation; by capturing these humble edibles in 18k gold rather than watercolour or bronze, their symbolic importance is matched by their intrinsic value. Ceremonial Biscuit is published in an edition of 8 and is also available in silver. Turk has also created a reduced scale version of the piece, entitled Taking the Biscuit executed in gold or silver and in an edition of 8.

 

The apple - or rather, its exposed core once the edible flesh has been gnawed away- is likewise a recurring motif in Turk's work. It is a loaded symbol of the loss of innocence, of knowledge and of the utopian English garden, rotten to the core. Over the past ten years, abandoned and shrivelled apple cores have featured in Turk's uncannily realistic painted bronze sculptures and impressionistic watercolours. They are joined in Golden Delicious by a recently executed golden counterpart. Like the rich teas they have been given new life and new meaning as precious jewels in a medium to echo their symbolic importance. Realised in 18k gold, the apple pips are marked by garnets set into the gold. Each apple core is an edition of 8.