Elements of the Black Country landscape are revealed in a new solo exhibition which opens at Wolverhampton Art Gallery in May and features hundreds of blown glass spheres. Acclaimed Wolverhampton-born artist David Ward has brought together the exhibition ‘In a Landscape’ especially for the gallery - his first solo show in his hometown. Born in 1951, David attended Wolverhampton College of Art from 1968-69 and Winchester School of Art, where he studied painting from 1969-73. His work now includes photography, film, light, sound and dance, and performance collaborations.
David’s work has been exhibited widely in both group and solo exhibitions and can be found in many public collections including Tate, the Arts Council Collection, National Portrait Gallery, V&A, Harvard University Art Museums and the Van Reekum Museum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands.
David’s latest exhibition is the result of a three-year collaboration between the artist and the gallery and draws on his experience of many different landscapes including elements of the Black Country - taken from his years growing up there.
The show includes selected works in different media from across his career together with new commissions inspired by the gallery’s collections of local and industrial history. Among them is a group of new sand cast glass sculptures, created in collaboration with the glass department in the School of Art within the University of Wolverhampton. Also included is his life-size image of a monumental glacial boulder in the local West Park which draws attention to its remarkable resemblance to the sculpture ‘Rock Form (Porthcurno)’ by Barbara Hepworth - on public display in Wolverhampton since 1968, and currently installed on the ground floor of the Art Gallery.
The exhibition also draws on some of the gallery’s permanent collections, which have inspired the artist, including Neolithic axe heads, the Last Pour from the Elisabeth Steel Foundry in Bilston, and a lantern slide of the first balloon ascent in Wolverhampton in 1882.
As well as this solo exhibition, David is co-curating the summer exhibition at Turner Contemporary, in Margate, Kent, ‘Seeing Round Corners’, together with artist Jonathan Parsons.
The ‘In a Landscape’ exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery launches on Saturday,May 7 and runs until Saturday, July 9. Entry is free.