Spaghetti ponytails, human-sized cheese wedges with feet and enormous nipples made from ham – Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock’s show SUCKERZ at London’s l’étrangère would be making Elephant a little hungry if it weren’t quite so vulgar.
‘It is the production of an imagination’. This is the way in which Emma Hart describes the creations of Jonathan Baldock, with whom she began work in 2012 after a long held fandom. The combination of both artists in this exhibition is whimsical and enticing, their works offering a window into a unique world of play and fantasy.
Baldock has previously worked with food in a variety of ways, forming busts from sourdough and creating sculptures of food with more everyday art materials. His work has a tactile feel to it, mixing high art references with simple techniques. Emma Hart’s sculpture has a similarly playful feel to it, her glossy clay sculptures with wobbly edges often mixing with digital images and video.
The bodies and foods that fill this current show are grotesque and fun and there is a nod to the curious fascination that children have with both. These items are crudely made from clay and textiles with a brilliant sense of movement to them, looking like a still frame from a plasticine animation.
Hart has described a similarity in both of their work being ‘a desire to overwhelm the viewer with detail, preventing them from being able to take the entire work in’. The sense of detail – despite the overwhelmingly spontaneous nature of the work – gives these pieces a sense of craftsmanship alongside their comical vulgarity. A wondrous pairing.
Suckerz is open at l’etrangere gallery until 1 August.