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Sculpture (MA)

Ladina Clément

Ladina Clément (b.1996) lives and works in London. 

MA Sculpture, Royal College of Art, 2022.

First Class BA (Hons) Sculpture, Edinburgh College of Art, 2018.

 

Selected solo and group exhibitions:

What a Joke!, AIR Gallery, Manchester, 2022

Visual Arts Scotland Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, 2022

We Won't Stop Showing, SET Woolwich, London, 2022

Society of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 2021

Temporary Truth, in partnership with Pro Tempore Art, Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen, 2021

First Impressions, Safehouse 1 & 2, London, 2021

Untitled (Supermarket), Croydon Arts Store, London, 2020

Mindful May - Up Late at the Holburne Museum, in partnership with FaB, The Holburne Museum, Bath, 2019

Satellite, in partnership with Visual Arts Scotland, Summerhall, Edinburgh, 2018

Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show, Edinburgh, 2018.


Awards and sponsors:

RCA Gilbert Bayes Award 2022

Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarship 2021

I use the medium of sculpture to create props which subvert normative environments and their systems of order. By enabling moments of theatricality, my work introduces absurdity into institutional spaces - spaces such as the gallery, supermarket and gym - rendering them surprising and anew. My sculptures become animated via audience interaction, robotics and movable components. Traditional techniques of casting and mould-making form the basis of my interdisciplinary approach, while photography, video and performance support the sculptural.


My current research explores the intersections between fitness, labour and craft through a feminist lens. Using gym equipment as sculptural motifs, I have created a family of weights – they loll, exhale, and curl up, acting as individual characters. 


I am a builder of bodies.

Medium:

Installation
Deadlift (2022)Polyurethane rubber, fibreglass
Ahhhhh (2022)

I make hard bodies soft, soft bodies hard. Leaning into the materiality of the gym, bodybuilding and traditional figurative sculpture. Manipulating matter to form the desired shape - lifting, carving, chasing. Can monuments be lethargic, introverted or honest? This one tries to be. It has deflated after assisting a mother’s labour, a desk jockey’s polyester pocketed buttocks and a gym bunny’s back. Supporting no more, its work is done.

Pumping Iron (2021-22)Polyurethane rubber, nylon, MDF, robotics.

Robots perform exercises which have no effect on their strength. The bodily becomes the technical, controlled by the code I write, performing on loop; curling and juddering until reaching exhaustion.

Deadlift (2022) performanceVideo. Duration: 31 minutes 11 seconds

To activate my cast sculptures, I have been collaborating with the performer Théïa Maldoom. Using physical comedy, deadpan humour and static poses as points of reference and return, a semi-improvised (durational) routine is enacted. Liveliness and inactivity segue into one another; both are spattered with moments of slapstick and tenderness.


Live performances in Battersea South

Friday 25th June 2022 6-9pm and Saturday 26th, Tuesday 28th and Thursday 30th June 2022 12-5pm.

Gym 

Flesh bumping up against padded steel

Spandex blotting sweat

Roars rumble deep, bubbling up until the face turns red and temporal 

arteries throb

Beats are felt in the face and heard in the ears 

Lactic acid encroaching, seeping in, as the groans gain

Fingers grip tighter as palms are lacquered

Curl, crunch, crank it up

Eyes follow every movement 

Voices encourage, palms poised, awaiting failure 

Snarling lips 

Glistening brows

Flushed faces

Weak knees tremble, gelatinous with fatigue

Wibble wobbling, barely supporting you out the door

Until the next time, we go again


Sculpture

Fables plump up cold hard figures

Undulating abdominals and rippling biceps

One leg is bent and the other engaged, grounding the body. 

One shoulder dropped.

The head turned. 

No groans are uttered between their lips

Engaged but looking so calm, he’s got it handled 

 

Labour

Laying foundations, pressing, forming a bed of clay

Brushing on a jacket 

Encasing, entombing, releasing

Cracking open the shell 

Whirring tools chase off the surface

Hands begin to seize up, taming the violence

Discarding the excess 

Coaxing out the colour 

Buffing the shine 


Deadlift (articulations) (2022)Photographic series. Model: Théïa Maldoom.
Featured in 'First Impressions', Safehouse 1 & 2, London, 2021.

Medium:

Silicone, PVC, rubber, robotics

Special thanks to:

The very wise and highly skilled future materials technicians: Phoebe Baines, Mat Fowkes and Nikki Kostur. Thank you for letting me call the workshop my second home for the past year. I have learned and laughed much.

Thank you for broadening my education and helping me problem solve: Ioannis Galatos, Karl Wai, Justin Calder, Ian Whittaker, Rich Watkins, Tom Railton, Ian Stoney, Chloe Valorso and Mary Ann Simmons.

Thank you Ariel Hacohen for being a class studio resident.

Théïa Maldoom, you have been a stupendous collaborator, thank you for putting up with me and adding your very own wobble to the work.

And my family, thank you for your continued support and love.

The Leverhulme Trust & RCA Gilbert Bayes Award 2022