Exhibition at St Fagans

Danny May

This exhibition was informed by St Fagans museum of Welsh history and its display of pre and post-industrial age machines and crafts.

I was originally drawn to the display of everyday objects, such as the wood-turned utilitarian items seen in many of the museums building, kitchens and living rooms. What interested me about these things is that they seemed to be made mostly during the period of transition towards industrialisation, even as mass-produced and cheap alternatives became available.

I also noticed that the shape and style of some of the less older objects appeared to mimic the look of being machine made

Danny May, Sculpture, St Fagans

At this period in time the relationship between nature and people was very organised and controlled, but was also just about as harmonious and symbiotic as can be. The learned and clever use of nature’s resources was for a time sustainable.

In the moments just prior to the industrial revolution humanity was able to manage and improve the health of the countryside. In return nature defined and provided for our daily existence.

 Danny May sculpture at St Fagans

The artworks shown in this exhibition take that moment in time, through a series of oak-turned and carved sculptures presented on plinths. These objects are simplistic in shape, pertaining to both the natural and the man made. The sculpture’s exaggerate and utilise the form that was already in the  material resource. And popped them upright as if cakes in a shop window

Danny May sculpture at St Fagans

The inspiration for these forms came also as a result of appreciating the sculptural quality of functional objects.

Especially as, within the context of a museum these normally insignificant parts acquire a status of self-importance and merit as iconic things. The aesthetic of these anonymous historical relics reminds me of the broken, but still monumental and grand Greek artefacts such as fallen and fragmented columns. No longer having purpose, but remaining importantly useless

 Danny May sculpture at St Fagans

This project has been funded by the Arts Council of Wales and National Museum of Wales

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