‘Perching Two’ exemplifies Claire Barclay’s core concern with notions of materiality, tension and contradiction.

Its left-hand part comprises a mirrored glass circle from which extrude two metal rods; to these is attached a black metal square, behind which hangs a piece of black fabric. The right-hand part is a pared down companion to the left: a matching black metal square is suspended, attached to rods which protrude from the wall. Upon one of the rods balances a silver metal curved shape, tipped at either end with turned ox horn. The work appears at once still, composed, and yet pregnant with the possibility of movement or breakdown. It relies upon the material juxtaposition of artificial and natural, soft and hard materials, of highly worked decorative components such as the ox horn, and more prosaic elements – the expanses of black which dominate in the work. The mirror on the left of the work is itself a delightfully playful piece of contradiction – manufactured using mirroring paint, its reflective qualities are undermined and complicated by drips of paint allowed to run across and distort its surface.


The artist.

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