Zabludowicz Collection is pleased to present Holy Bark a solo exhibition by London-based artist Victor Seaward. Touching on histories of medicine, trade and industrialisation through digitally rendered objects, Seaward weaves narrative through commonplace objects and organic forms.
A collection of subtlety arranged sculptural works integrate naturally across the exhibition space. From a slice of white bread to life-sized insects, the works employ trompe l’oeil tactics to demystify the perceived value of the often discarded materials of our everyday. Requiring a close inspection due to their uncanny nature, Seaward’s source materials are embedded with the histories of technological, empirical and global manufacture.
Holy Bark centres on the artist's recent sculpture Oracle (Nocturne), a shell-like form hanging from the architectural beam within the installation. Rendered using 3D modeling software and then 3D printed, the vessel encloses a gelatinized tonic water that fluoresces under UV light due to its quinine content. Brought to Europe by the Spanish Jesuits in the seventeenth century, used as an anti-malarial treatment for British soldiers in colonial India, to a key ingredient in the now classic gin & tonic, quinine weaves connections between medicine and empire.
Responding to the complexity of manufacture, Holy Bark also highlights the back-stories of white bread, socks, and Wedgewood Jasperware – once reserved for the elite, these now commonplace objects over saturate contemporary markets. In mapping a leap from exclusivity to hyper-ubiquity, Seaward reveals the human ingenuity of his mundane source material through an advanced technological fabrication. Intersecting histories across natural remedies and industrialisation, the exhibition points to the slippages across digital, natural and consumable goods.
Victor Seaward (b. 1988, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) received an MA from The Royal College of Art in 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include Nebelmeer, Recent Activity, Birmingham (2019); Vanitas, Rectory Projects, London (2019); Isabelline and Other Colours, Lily Brooke, London (2019). Select group exhibitions include: Small, Acava Studios, London (2021); Time Takes a Cigarette, Josh Lilley, London (2021); Holding Hands, Union Gallery, London (2021); Contemporary Sculpture Fulmer 2020, Buckinghamshire (2020); The Metallurgical Ouroboros, Gossamer Fog, London (2018). Seaward is participating in the 11th Edition of Sculpture in the City and will be presenting his first solo exhibition with Fabian Lang Gallery in Zurich Switzerland in 2022.