Jasper Hamill, 'Alex Pollard - Torch Sculptures' (The Skinny, 12, 09/2006)

Alex Pollard – Torch Sculptures

Surprises come at every turn in Pollard’s work and this is a remarkable show

Animating the most basic of art materials – pens, pencils, rulers – into minimalist, yet evocative forms, Pollard’s show explores the connotative potential of these simple materials. Using a paint pod lid and bendy, obviously artificial pencil, he makes a sea scape; a set of bronze rulers are turned into dinosaurs and a miasma of pencil marks metamorphose into heads and faces. Turing the raw materials of artistic practice into coherent work, there is an essential lie at the exhibition’s core: the materials he uses are fake themselves. The bronze ruler, that bend into animal-like forms, are quite obviously manufactured by the artist, the pen that stretches and then bends into a line, framing the wall mounted work equally so. These playful untruths are a small part of the impact of the work though, with a wall mounted collage of sorts which resembles a surrealist landscape in some minimal way, evidencing an almost magical, allusive ability. Surprises come at every turn in Pollard’s work and this is a quite remarkable show.