The Bloomberg Commission: Claire Barclay

Shadow Spans

  • Claire Barclay-Shadow Spans-2010

Past Exhibition

The Bloomberg Commission
Claire Barclay: Shadow Spans

26 May 2010 – 01 May 2011

Claire Barclay’s sculpture becomes the inspiration for live dance performances by outstanding British choreographers.

On the 20 and 21 January, for two nights only, Dog Kennel Hill Project, a collaboration between innovative dancers Ben Ash, Henrietta Hale and Rachel Lopez de la Nieta, perform Figure Stuck, Stuck. This piece was developed during their residency at the Gallery in November 2010 and arises from their interest in the investigation of new contexts for dance.

From 2 – 20 March, the dance artist Matthias Sperling and choreographer Siobhan Davies will present a new performance in the Gallery. Developed at Siobhan Davies Studios, the new dance piece will be performed within the Shadow Spans installation over four hours a day for a period of three weeks. The work will be informed by Davies and Sperling’s engagement with Barclay’s installation and the ideas behind her work.

From 30 March–17 April, Zenaida Yanowsky, principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, performs a piece by celebrated choreographer Will Tuckett, which playfully references the similarities between the formal elements of classical dance and the architectural elements of Barclay’s work.

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Claire Barclay is a leading figure in a generation of young sculptors who have re-engaged with craft techniques and the symbolic resonance of materials. The architectural mix of the
East End with its dark cobbled alleyways, Georgian townhouses and modern buildings are refracted into her sculptures. Door and window-like forms create the basis for structures around which fabrics and objects are gathered. Top hats, the fingers of gloves, bird cages and glinting fetishistic metal objects suggest the transition point between interior and exterior spaces, as well as hinting at lives behind closed doors. Barclay has created a complex space for peeking around corners and for being observed.

Supported by:

The Bloomberg Commission invites an international artist to create an annual site-specific artwork inspired by the rich history of the former library. Bloomberg’s support reflects its commitment to innovation, and its ongoing efforts to expand access to art, science and the humanities.

Additional support provided by the Wingate Scholarships. Claire Barclay is the Wingate Artist-in-Residence at the Whitechapel Gallery.

Performances supported by:

Catherine and Franck Petitgas

With support from the Siobhan Davies Commissioning Fund