Press Release - Left to own devices
Solo exhibition by Kevin Wayne
@ Unit 24 Gallery 11th – 31st August 2011
For his first solo exhibition at Unit 24 Kevin Wayne presents Left to own devices, a show comprising of hand-made sculptures and box constructions produced over the last three and a half years.
Wayne’s work is rooted in what could be termed as a ‘more is more’ attitude, in that the viewer is invited to investigate and explore a variety of visually dense and detailed objects that sit at a crossroads of alternative illustration and the model-making craft enthusiast.
“This may be an unfashionable thing to say but I believe in the magic of hand-made objects and their capacity to engage and enchant. My work comes out of a need I have always had to make and play around with bits of card and glue. I have tried making work out of nearly anything you can think of but I have always returned to sitting out in my garage late at night cutting and sticking things together.”
In his recent work Wayne has started to employ a visual grammar 0f re-occurring characters and environments such as lost or disaffected children and teenagers, tangled networks of pipes and wiring and whimsical constructions of would-be buildings and machines.
“I am interested in the state of being confused or lost and the awkwardness and vulnerability that comes with it. Over the last decade I worked with children who are in foster care and have been subject to some form of neglect or abuse. I am fascinated by how in many cases these children have largely through their behaviour, constructed their own separate worlds as a means of guarding against ‘normal society’, and how any outsiders may, as past experience has taught them, wish to exploit and abuse.”
If Wayne’s work were to be attached to any contemporary trends it would be towards the movement (predominantly rising out of the American west coast over the last decade or so) towards ‘Lowbrow’ art and Pop-surrealism, as epitomised by artists such as Mark Ryden and Gary Baseman. As with 1950’s and 60’s Pop art Britain found its own way of translating shared sensibilities through artists such as Peter Blake and Eduardo Paolozzi. Wayne regards himself in a similar mould, taking on the mantle of celebrating the lowbrow leftovers of visual culture, and attempting to find a way of fusing the parochial and idiosyncratic concerns of a man living and working in a provincial English town.
Ultimately Wayne is attempting to create unexpected and surreal little windows into which we peer. Some of what we see may charm and delight, some of it however maybe the cause for darker concern.