Turner Prize show – Michael Dean: United Kingdom poverty line for two adults and two children: twenty thousand four hundred and thirty six pounds sterling as published on 1st September 2016

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Michael Dean, says the blurb on the wall and everything else about him online, starts his sculpture with words and realises them in concrete and corrugated iron and soil and sand and when we went in the installation we found the doorway and battered locked hut plastered in stickers like advertising but these were meaningless words endlessly repeated and I do not remember them but I guess as the blurb says these were his starting point.  Michael Dean, says the blurb on the wall, moulds human body parts from found materials and scatters pennies heaped like landscape across the floor the smallest amount a family can have to live on in one year and not be designated poor minus one penny.

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My daughter thought she spotted a pound thrown on the pile by some disapproving person vandalising modern art.

Igor Mitoraj in Pompeii

These are my sketches of the bronze sculptures, placed in the setting of Pompeii’s ruins with the looming presence of Vesuvius behind.  These were done using fountain pen, water, conte crayon and Faber Castell grey brush pens.

I was struck that most of these mock-mythical figures are male.  Though cracked and fractured through pseudo-millennia, they are endowed with mouths and genitals.  The female figures are sparse, without heads and with genitalia obscured, typically by small grotesque masks.

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Pompeii forum, with the fallen Icarus (fore), with Tyndareus, father of Helen of Sparta (back)

 

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Daedalus, father of Icarus

 

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Ikarus and Ikaria: male and female Icarus’

 

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Pompeii basilica: centaur

 

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Pompeii basilica: Male and female Icarus’

 

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Pompeii basilica: first sketches of two Icarus’

 

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Intersection of main roads in Pompeii: winged Eros with hand.

 

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Second century bath complex: Sulla riva grande screpolata

 

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Columned quadrangle by the theatre: Cracked Theseus

 

Seeing, imagining, drawing

 

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In the columned quadrangle behind Pompeii’s small theatre had been placed three bronze sculptures by the late Polish artist, Igor Mitoraj.  He drew on classical sources for his bold structures, typically fractured and fragmented to suggest the ephemeral nature of all we build.  Here, Teseo screpolato (Cracked Theseus) is shown against the remains of walls hit not only by Vesuvius but much later by Allied bombing.

I have scraped conte crayon over heavily textured stiff paper then used Faber and Castell cool grey brush pens to deepen the tones on the metal surface and brickwork.

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My daughter worked on smoother cartridge paper and gained greater depth of colour from the conte crayons.  I love the interlocking shapes which build the tones of the bronze face.