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A dismembered torso sits on top of a brick-built hearth, its body forming the chimney breast. A light bulb glows within it, while obituary notices cut from newspapers are pasted on the outside. A pair of shoes has apparently been removed before setting foot onto the stained carpet - a gesture customary in religious spaces or, sometimes, the home. Morgan wrote of Balka's early sculptures: 'As wretchedness and grandeur are brought together, a sense of the sacred is felt. Perhaps it is Balka's humble means that succeed in evoking reverence in the viewer.'

August 2004