The Grundy Art Gallery has launched a year of programming centred on its own collection, with a major new commission by celebrated artist Ben Cain focusing on the permanent works of the gallery.
New exhibition Companions runs until January 30, with Ben having selected 16 paintings from the gallery’s current collection, then working with local craftspeople to create objects from within those paintings for display as sculptures alongside the original image.
In one piece, a vase sitting on a side-table in a painting has been brought to life by a potter, while in another an amber glass necklace worn by the sitter in the original painting is has been created by a glassblower.
The artist has constructed a special stage for the new sculptures to be displayed, which collects all the new sculptures into a 3D still life scene.
The gallery is keen to encourage visitors to get involved and to draw sketches of the new sculptures – essentially making copies of the copies.
Grundy curator Richard Parry said: “Companions is all about seeing the works in the collection as if they were painted yesterday, as if you were the artist painting the portrait and were thinking through how to shape a vase or a bowl as if from scratch.”
“This is about imagining new lives for the objects and people within each of the paintings.”