The fourth Tate St Ives Artist in Residence is sculptor Nick Evans (born 1976). Using a diverse range of media from cast and assembled resin, poured aluminium and hand-built ceramics, Evan’s composite objects – of abstract and figurative elements – explore aspects of human experience. Evans constructs anarchic and playful relationships between his painted surfaces and animated forms. Drawing from a variety of sources from 20th century art history and contemporary culture, his eclectic practice subverts sculptural traditions whilst questioning social, political and cultural representations.
Living and working in Glasgow, Evans is associated with the next generation of artists to come through the Glasgow School of Art.
Nick Evans is the fourth artist and the first sculptor to participate in the Artist Residency Programme based at number 5, Porthmeor Studios. One of the new generation of artists trained at Glasgow School of Art, his latest work engages with the material and practices involved in the creation of the art object and its continued function as a tipping point of critical debate amongst practitioners. Employing a range of media from fibreglass resin, steel, poured and painted aluminium and ceramic, his intuitively constructed, quasi-figurative abstract forms have immediate visceral energy. But the vitality of Evans’s gestural forms is as much achieved through a joy of making as through a radical sampling and remixing of twentieth-century Western aesthetic strategies: constructivism, cubism, art informal, abstract expressionism, pop and graffiti art, to name but a few.
In Evans’s fusion of contrary styles and periods, his work prompts the question about what sculpture could and should be today. He is looking at the relationship between material, its handling and meaning. Artists that have motivated this critical approach towards object-making include Terry Atkinson and Asger Jorn, which in part explains Evans’s perverse combination of art political rigour and irreverence, combined with an expressive sensibility rooted in cultural thinking.
The resulting conversations or ‘interrogative encounters’ the artist sets up between elements of material and form, concept and function, historic and contemporary in the works are deliberately left unresolved allowing for any number of interpretations. Evans encourages us to devise many different narratives from his compelling sculptures.
In addition to his new work in Gallery 5, he has made three site specific sculptures for the Roof Terrace entitled Memorials to the Closed System Schematic 2006. The works create an interplay of linear elements with form and space in relation to the landscape of St Ives.