Katie Cuddon: Waiting for the Cue

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Katie Cuddon: Waiting for the Cue
© the artist and Simon Oldfield Gallery Katie Cuddon, Listening with a Finger in Their Ear, 2011

A recent ceramics fellow at Camden Arts Centre, UK artist Katie Cuddon continues her manipulations of clay with this solo exhibition of new sculptural works. Lending its theatrical title to the show, ‘Waiting for the Cue’ is the only bronze among painted clay objects. Glove-shaped, its apparent prop-like status suggests that it is part of some greater narrative. The implied plot, however, does not play out across the forms and figures of the sculptures – which on the whole present a fairly disparate set of allusions.

The real player here is the clay itself. Central to Cuddon’s practice is this medium’s propensity to act as an agent for the artist’s direct expressions. And with this exhibition, she draws warm comparison between the work done by actors, and the work performed by clay.

Wrought with the marks of the artist’s hands, graphite cube ‘M’ marks a slight departure for Cuddon. Shying away from figurative reference-points, the lumpen minimal form – paired with a pale and smooth low-lying slab – bears the weight of its manmade idiosyncrasies. Concerned with its making as much as with its geometric form, this work represents a fine-tuning of Cuddon’s sculptural vocabulary. Elsewhere, her characteristic, suggestively figurative shapes appear – referencing arms, heads and beaks – with pocked and distressed surfaces drawing attention to the artist’s techniques of mark-making.

While this is a somewhat muted display of works, slightly lacking in punch or innovative thrust, the endearing metaphor of ‘clay acting’, dramatising the whims and demands of the artist, introduces an interesting image of sculptural making.

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