Abbot Hall

Abbot Hall website link-

At Abbot Hall art gallery I went and visited the Laura Ford exhibition it contained different sculptures showing foreboding feelings whenever you walked into a room. Laura Ford looks at the mixture of human and animal which can extend from a human and animal body or animals representing humans and this is something that highly fascinates and inspires her.


This is the first Laura Ford sculpture I came across this sculpture includes a childs body with a donkeys head, this sculpture changes wherever it goes because the clothing changes and the feeling you get of this sculpture changes depending on where it is placed for example this sculpture is representing knowledge within this room dew to the painting in front of it this is why the head won’t stand it’s because the head is too heavy with knowledge it won’t stand on it’s own and when you look at the painting in front of the sculpture you realise that there are stacks of books of philosophy and biology which shows knowledge and this is probably why Laura Ford wanted this sculpture within this room to show the relationship between both the painting and her sculpture.

These two sculptures are very similar and Laura Ford explains that both her and her sister both had twin black dresses like these sculptures are wearing and within these sculptures I believe the message she is trying to bring across is her childhood as she had quite abusive parents and drunk parents who moved around a lot dew to their business and this sculpture gives off a sense of foreboding as if it’s showing what she went through in her childhood with her sister and with the sculptures one sculpture is taller than the other kind of showing the older and younger sister between her and her sister and on the sculptures there is a tattoo on the sculpture which says love and hate on the back of the hands and then in the other sculptures hand there is a stone which resembles them as children witnessing the love and hate they must have felt with their parents getting abusive and drunk and how this must have showed love and hate.

These sculptures show three very fancy dogs sitting at each window within a room which use to be a place where women would drink tea and meet for tea and meetings to have a gossip and chat and within this sculpture Laura Ford I think is trying to show Lady’s meeting, I get this from the dogs being very fancy poodles which look well groomed they have hair like wealthy women would have had in the era Abbot Hall would have been a home to the wealthy lady and gentlemen who would live there and the dogs within this sculpture also seem to have nicely layed on make-up and are all to be sitting near a window which they’d probably be doing if they were sat in the hall having a tea and a gossip.

With these sculptures Laura Ford created little kids and then covered them with penguin suits, these sculptures had quite foreboding feel to them and they were slightly unsettling when we walked into the room. Laura Ford apparently changes her sculptures wherever they go to and with the front of the penguin differently painted with each penguin the front of it is painted differently and I think this shows just the difference between each person and we may kind of all look the same we aren’t the same we are different inside and slightly out and I think this is what Laura Ford was trying to show within this work.

Laura Ford in this sculpture I think shows possessiveness and this reflects on Laura Ford and her parents as the male figure has a boxing glove which could show abuse because boxing includes fighting and the male figure has an arm rapped around the womens shoulder as a possessive gesture and the women comes across as quite small and dainty and is use to being overpowered. He is showing a domineering, overpowing gesture and it gives you a sense of vulnerability when you see it and pity for the young woman.

These pieces of work remind me of beatrix potters stories as she is bringing animals to life within her drawings and it reminds you of the stories she writes about however Laura Fords seems to show animals from quite a negative point of view as when I look at her pieces it also reminds me of homeless people and I guess animals are kind of homeless however humans shouldn’t be and showing homeless people as animals has quite a interesting twist to it as you feel badly and sad towards the animals because they are meant to be people however naturally animals don’t live in houses and kind of are homeless.

My observational drawings-






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