Julia Crabtree and William Evans, Pores 2021 (installation view) Henry Moore Institute. Photo: John McKenzie.

Julia Crabtree and William Evans have been collaborating since 2006 and are known for their process-driven sculpture. Slip includes work from the last five years alongside sculptures made for this exhibition.

Julia Crabtree and William Evans’ work incorporates a breadth of materials and modes of making from casting and glass-blowing to video-making and printing. For each new body of work they initiate a sequence of contained sculptural experiments. The artists allow the fallibilities of collaborative working and the risk of failure inherent to their materials to inform the final object.

The need to touch and understand the world through its things, when most information arrives via screens, underpins Crabtree and Evans’ experimental and playful approach. Entering this exhibition requires walking upon the carpet of Gullet 2017–21. The printed image comes from a simulation of a smoke-filled room, now stripped of its digital slickness and transferred onto a malleable, physical surface. Acting as a threshold to the exhibition, the part-sculpture, part-pedestal also reveals the duos interest in scenography and the collision of real and digital experience.

Embracing the errors and ’mishaps’ of their working processes, along with off-kilter colours, Crabtree and Evans seek an alternative to recognised systems of perfection, taste and the myth of the artist genius. In a new body of ceramics, which appropriate mass-produced goods designed to support the body, the cracks and collapses triggered by casting, firing and glazing have all been retained. In another new series, blown glass sculptures are pushed to their material limits with extreme heat, gravity and the artistsown collaborative decision-making central to their process.

In the video installation Crutch 2017-21, a projection shows bodily indentations being made by an invisible force into a soft, tactile base. Whatever their chosen material, Crabtree and Evans’ works speak of the body without ever depicting it. Interested in systems and ecologies, the exhibition as a whole offers a landscape of ecosystems which, as they say themselves, ‘is exactly what the body is’.

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