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'Figures and Helmets' New work by Mo Jupp

February 20th - March 22nd

Mo Jupp is arguably now making his very best work; a condensing, a distillation of over forty five years at the figurative coal face. He is surely getting to the heart of the matter, his three-dimensional clay drawings abstracting so vividly the stance and attitude of the female, in rolls, joints and sags of  slip-enriched clay. Their sense of abbreviation directs us to the essential. He reduces, extends and elongates. Making is both an act of compression and addition. These objects are unmistakably Jupp, a world of modern and beguiling archetypes he has made his own.

The new and impressive spate of helmets revisits an old obsession. Again there is the archetype, that sense of summary (Mo is not interested in the specifics of the individual, of faces), picking up on, for example, the frontality of yashmaks, images of Ned Kelly's head armour, and those aspects of Egyptian, Cycladic and medieval sculpture you sense in the figures too. Such sources offer a kind of blank for Jupp to work with - on which he can build, both literally and metaphorically, exploring again the figurative aspect of such motifs, as well as the materiality of the clay itself. It is this gut feeling for the material, and for the pulse of the human form, that gives this work its life force.

David Whiting

January 2014

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