Exhibitions2002Copper Jubilee

Copper Jubilee

28 Jun 02

The New Art Gallery Walsall

The New Art Gallery Walsall presented Copper Jubilee in 2002, this was Turk’s first major British solo show since The Stuff Show at the South London Gallery in 1998. The exhibition combined brand new work with key pieces from the artist’s oeuvre.

Displayed works included Nomad, a beautifully crafted painted bronze sculpture of someone in a sleeping bag. There is an incredible tension between the obvious pathos of the imagery and the beauty of the object as sculpture with its sensuous curves and meticulous attention to detail. After it was made, Gavin put the sculpture on the street for the day; in a shop doorway across from his Charing Cross Road studio where he was able to watch the largely apathetic responses of passers-by.

From its doorway, the sculpture unwittingly collected a pile of copper coins. This had inspired Heads!, an oversized copper coin with an iconic portrait of the Queen. In the context of the Golden Jubilee the work could have been seen as a celebration of national identity. However, it also raised questions about value. Whilst currency might be regarded as a thing of value, coins of such a minimal denomination are often discarded as worthless.

Amongst the works included in the exhibition were the grandiose Unoriginal Signature, a nine-metre-long Yves Klein Blue sponge signature, Ouevre, a giant fibreglass egg, and Pimp, a painted steel skip.