We speak to the illustrator/sculptor about his recurring animal themes
The desire to explore mans place within nature is the primary driving force within the work of London export, illustrator and sculptor Arran Gregory. By stripping away visual bias’ and comforts such as colour, and letting form and shape dominate, he is able to present a visual collaboration between audience and artist, in sharing a vision of nature in playing with both familiarity and alienation. Following on from the success of his previous solo exhibitions 'Trophy Room' and 'Forrest', he presents his third solo show, at the Print House Gallery, Dalston, entitled 'Wolf'.
Wolves are one of the few wild species of their kind who hunt in packs; Neolithic man would have realised and harnessed this. I find the connection between them and us pretty fascinating; we are so close but at the same time through language and behaviour barriers, quite distant
Dazed Digital: Where did the unusual symbiosis of illustration and sculpture develop from, for you?
Arran Gregory: I studied Graphic Design at University but had always been interested in illustration since I was young. When it came to my Final Major Project I began to move into sculpture, which was the perfect opportunity for me to develop me approach into a new direction. Sculpture for me is like pushing a 2D project as far as it can go; taking illustration itself to another level.
DD: Since your first solo exhibit “Trophy Room”, each subsequent exhibition seems to be progressing towards a much more primal and “wild” examination of nature- is this a deliberate progression?
Arran Gregory: The progression of human detachment wasn’t particularly done deliberately; I try not to over-think my work and keep it playful as it enables me to be more creative. I do however find it inspiring how simple the lives of wild animals can be; it’s something that I feel we’ve lost connection with in our over-complicated, busy lives and so I use it as an outlet.
DD: Animals from the Canis genus are fairly recurrent subjects in your work; what significance do they posses for you?
Arran Gregory: A few years back, when I was going over to visit India, I saw a documentary on the plane about how mankind domesticated the wolf. Wolves are one of the few wild species of their kind who hunt in packs; Neolithic man would have realised and harnessed this. I find the connection between them and us pretty fascinating; we are so close but at the same time through language and behaviour barriers, quite distant.
DD: What should we keep an eye out for at the exhibition?
Arran Gregory: My two newest mirror sculptures, as it has now been three years since I creates my “Mirror Bear”. I will also be using much more durable materials such as resin, stone and fibreglass. Hopefully there is something for everyone.
Wolf runs at The Print House Gallery, 18 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL, until September 6, 2012
Text by Dorrell Merritt