Ruth Claxton was awarded the Arts Council England: South West Residency in 2007; Spike Island’s main annual award for UK based artists. The residency formed part of the development phase for Lands End, a critically acclaimed exhibition organised by Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and supported by the Arts Council England National Touring Programme, the Henry Moore Foundation and the Owen Family Trust.
Lands End (2008-9) was a series of glittering components that together evoked an otherworldly landscape; a technological, rather than a natural sublime. Its landscape was populated with porcelain figurines, transposed from the mantelpiece to the gallery. The figures are enraptured by the colourful items that obscure their vision and punctuate the elaborate sculptural environment, creating a series of tableaux vivants. Paths were created through the installation’s reflective surfaces: the work waited for its audience.
Lands End is reconfigured by the artist into new scenarios at each venue, since all the galleries taking part in the tour have different architectural features which needed to be addressed. Claxton therefore produced new elements for Spike Island in response to the scale and volume of the gallery.
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham: 2 April to 18 May 2008; Oriel Davies, Newtown: 11 October to 29 November 2008; Spike Island, Bristol: 31 January to 15 March 2009; Grundy Gallery, Blackpool: 28 March to 9 May 2009.