Claire Barclay gets ambitious with Yield Point
- Susan Mansfield
- 26 January 2017
Artist set to take on Tramway's vast gallery space with huge, new installation
Claire Barclay is thinking big. As we speak, three people in her studio are manhandling an immense piece of stitched together canvas, part of a work for her new show, and she is trying not to laugh as she watches them. But when you take on Tramway 2 as an artist, you have to think big.
'It's by far the biggest volume of space I've ever worked with,' says Barclay. 'You make a thing and, even if it's big, you place it in the space and it looks small. As a person who makes installations, creates immersive environments and moods, the challenge is how to do that when the space is so huge.'
In the last 20 years, Barclay has carved out a distinctive niche in the art world as a creator of meticulous sculptural works which respond to their environments, combine hand-made and machine-made elements, evoke but rarely describe. For this show, she has been casting concrete, sewing huge canvas forms, as well as working with manufacturers to create bespoke metal parts.
She is responding to Tramway's post-industrial vibe with a series of sculptures which reference manufacturing, but juxtapose the industrial with the human scale. 'The work is an eccentric take on things that would be familiar within a factory environment, mundane elements which might be overlooked, so something might remind you of a drivebelt, a sink, a stick to put bobbins on, but none of them really are. They are curious eccentric objects.'
Tramway, Fri 10 Feb–Sun 9 Apr.