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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Edward Allington: Beyond Retrospection by Judith Winter

Edward Allington (1951–2017) was part of a generation of artists responding to changing aesthetic, social and cultural values through the 1980s. A sculptor, writer and educator, Allington came to prominence following the group exhibitions ‘Objects and Sculpture’ (1981, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and Arnolfini, Bristol) and ‘The Sculpture Show’ (1983, the Hayward Gallery and Serpentine Gallery). In his poignant assertion, ‘Sculpture is looking at real things by making real things. It is making poetry with solid objects,’ he encapsulated the essence of his artistic ethos. A pivotal figure amidst the evolving landscape of art, alongside contemporaries such as Tony Cragg, Richard Wentworth, Bill Woodrow, Richard Deacon, Anish Kapoor and Shirazeh Houshiary (to name but a few),  he spearheaded a renaissance in British sculpture.

This talk delves into Allington’s profound legacy, transcending mere retrospection to illuminate how his work still speaks in our contemporary times. Through a nuanced analysis of Allington’s oeuvre, the curator and writer Judith Winter embarks on a journey to unravel the complexities embedded within his sculptural lexicon. Central to this discourse is Allington’s relentless pursuit of pluralism and divergence, challenging conventional boundaries and beckoning viewers to confront notions of authenticity, memory, aesthetic experience.

Taking a lead from Allington, who expressed his approach to making work, as a constant journey, a way of ‘moving and matching the complexity of the world,’ the presentation will be formed as a correspondence with the artist and those who helped shape the curatorial ethos that led to the landmark exhibition, ‘Edward Allington: Things Unsaid,’ at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds in 2020. Beyond a retrospective showcase, this exhibition served as a testament to Allington’s enduring relevance, prompting a poignant inquiry into the curator’s role in preserving artistic legacies whilst ensuring that art lives on and remains a vehicle for contemporary and future dialogue.

‘Edward Allington: Things Unsaid’ was held on 25 October 2019 – 23 February 2020 at the Henry Moore Institute and the Upper Sculpture Study Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds and was curated by Judith Winter in collaboration with the Estate of Edward Allington.

Judith Winter (Dr phil) is an independent curator, writer and lecturer in critical and contextual studies, Gray’s School of Art, Scotland. Her current research focuses on art school reform and contemporary curatorial practices. She studied sculpture at Central/St Martins School of Art and Sculpture Studies at the University of Leeds. It was here that she met Edward Allington, working with the artist on gallery and off-site proejcts. Allington proved to be a significant influence and mentor and opened up opportunities to work as a curator and writer.




Event information

Edward Allington: Beyond Retrospection by Judith Winter

An online Zoom talk, free for PSSA Members. £3.50 for non-members (join the PSSA).

Free tickets and charged tickets book via Eventbrite.

Edward Allington, Heraclitus DXLIYA, 1992, ink and emulsion on ledger paper and canvas, 183 x 122 x 6 cm. Photo Courtesty The Estate of Edward Allington.

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