IN: Inspiration

South London Gallery Features Creepy Concrete Sheep

Artist Judith Hopf’s Flock of Sheep brings dark humour to South London Gallery exhibition, Knock Knock.

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One of concrete’s most recognised qualities is its weight. Sturdy and compact, it is little wonder that some of the world’s boldest structures use concrete in some form or another. Other less obvious uses are for delicate items, like ornaments, jewellery and fashion.

Artist Judith Hopf seems unfazed by the protean nature of concrete. One of her artworks is called Flock of Sheep (2013) and forms part of group show running at the new annex of South London Gallery (SLG) until 18 November 2018. The new annex is a repurposed fire station that has a number of small galleries, plenty of brickwork and burnt remnants of an old fireplace that mirror the mélange of dark art pieces on show.

Entitled Knock Knock, the exhibition features a bizarre range of weird, troubling and darkly humorous art pieces huddled under a steel staircase.  

Hopf has sculpted a flock of concrete sheep that are moulded in cardboard boxes that resemble concrete cubes. Some of the sheep teeter on spindly legs while others are lying down.  

PPC Imaginarium
Photo: Andy Stagg

 

The use of concrete is a deliberate attempt to distort one’s idea of these typically soft and woolly farm animals - the hard and heavy nature of the material works really well as a contrast.

Each sheep has a cartoon face drawn hastily - or so it seems. Although simple, the entire piece paints an unsettling image for the viewer while making a profound comment on humanity. 

“I think there are a lot of points where people can relate to the sheep, because, while they're not the most intelligent beings, everyone loves them, but on the other hand they represent group pressure,” says Hopf.

In the case of Hopf’s artwork, while laughter may seem natural, the response is not always anticipated. The use of concrete has a patent silliness, yet the contrast is so jarring that Hopf dares viewers to laugh at these strange sculptures.

For more details on Knock Knock visit: https://bit.ly/2x0SRqt.

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