Steven Claydon

Operation Greensleeves

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Year 2021
Medium Coloured pencil on paper
Dimensions 29.7 x 21 cm

About the work

The title comes from a fictional operation in a John le Carre book. Actually, I came up with the title and then discovered that he had coined the term. He lived locally in self-imposed exile. I liked the coincidence, and I was thinking about my relocation to the rural west as a sort of experiment, a re-routing much in the same way as Buckminster Fuller embarked on his Guinea Pig B. The image is based on a Holbein drawing with some modified elements. I wanted it to be quotidian, an indirect way of conversing with the artist through the act of drawing. Something like tracing the grooves in a record with a pin and a cone of paper to communicate with the moment of its making. A kind of folly…. a limp form of time travel.

About the artist:

Born 1969 London, Steven Claydon lives and works in West Cornwall. Graduated from Chelsea School of Art & Design and Central Saint Martins, London.

Claydon’s work explores the cultural histories and narratives acquired by objects and artworks over time, which is often at dramatic odds with their ‘original’ values or functions. Encompassing sculpture, painting, video and performance, his multidisciplinary practice is concerned with the disjunction between the essential materiality of objects and their ascribed meanings or connotations. By introducing new references, juxtapositions, and ideas to objects or environments heavy with their own architectural and cultural histories, Claydon’s works function beyond their immediate aestheticism to interrogate notions of belonging and of displacement, and of temporality and permanence.

Claydon has also been involved in experimental electronic music for over 20 years, most notably as part of the bands Add N to X, Jack too Jack, and Long Meg.

His work is held within public and private collections including Haus der Kunst, Munich; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Rennie Collection, Vancouver; Saatchi Gallery, London; Tate, London; and Zabludowicz Collection, London.

Selected exhibitions include The Outside In, MERL Museum of English Rural Life, Reading (2018); The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups, The Common Guild, Glasgow (2017); The Gilded Bough, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2016); Analogues, Methods, Monsters, Machines, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève (2015); The Fictional Pixel and The Ancient Set, Bergen Kunsthall (2015); Culpable Earth, Firstsite, Colchester (2012); Golden Times, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2010); and The Ancient Set and The Fictional Pixel, Serpentine Pavilion, London (2008). Selected group exhibitions include Delirious, Lustwarande – Platform for Contemporary Sculpture, Tilburg (2019); DARK MATTER, Science Gallery, London (2019); Good Grief, Charlie Brown!, Somerset House, London (2018); Identify Your Limitations, Acknowledge the Periphery, VITRINE, Basel (2017); Solid Liquids, Kunsthalle Münster (2016); The Persistence of Objects, Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore (2015); Film London Jarman Award 2014, Whitechapel Gallery, London, and CIRCA Projects, Newcastle upon Tyne, (2014); Period Room, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014); Aquatopia, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham and touring (2013); Indifferent Matter: From Object to Sculpture, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2013); SOUNDWORKS, Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2012); We Will Live, We Will See, The Zabludowicz Collection, London (2011); and British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet, at venues in Nottingham, London, Glasgow and Plymouth (2010-11).

Awards include nomination for the inaugural Hepworth Prize (2016).

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