Picnic (2023)

Picnic is being exhibited at Stone Lane Gardens as part of the 2023 Ashburner Prize Sculpture Exhibition until 31st October 2023. It was one of three sculptures shortlisted for the prize and received a commendation from the judges.

“Picnic” consists of five brightly coloured striped plywood cubes of varying sizes standing on striped tubular steel legs. The objects can be thought of as representing a family or a group of friends having a picnic and simply enjoying the gardens.

One of the themes of this piece is the idea that places are made important by the people who love, care about, and look after them. At the moment hundreds of millions of people are on the move, forced from their homes by war, environmental damage, or the desire to escape poverty.

The objects in “Picnic” are the ultimate “other”, but imagine for a moment that they were real, would we even be able to communicate? Meeting strangers can be difficult or frightening, but it can also be incredibly rewarding and of course we should always try to think about other people with understanding and without prejudice.

Other inspirations behind this piece are Georges Seurat’s painting ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’ and the paintings of Chris Foss, in particular one used for the cover of Isaac Asimov’s novel ‘The Caves of Steel’.The stripes on the cubes echo the patterns that identify electronic resistors but are purely decorative like “go faster stripes” or perhaps what every fashionably attired cube should have this year?

The stripes on the legs encode the names of various picnic items.

(Wood, paint, steel, vinyl)