Visit ′Walking Men′ by Laurence Edwards
Laurence Edwards’ Walking men stride out across the stepped terrace of the Art Gallery’s new building – searching, beseeching, wary and alert. Originally displayed in Australia at the Orange Regional Gallery, the work is on loan to the Art Gallery from the Nock Art Foundation, Hong Kong.
While of a scale and material familiar from public memorials, the figures in British sculptor Laurence Edwards’ Walking men are anti-heroic and seem to have come from the earth itself. Branches, leaves and clods of clay are woven through them, making it unclear where human and ground begin and end.
The raw materials they have been cast from have been pushed, pulled and gouged into shape with a visceral energy that makes the artist’s act of creation palpable. The figures could be futuristic post-apocalyptic survivors or equally from an ancient mythological world. Powerfully expressive, their uncertain demeanours reflect current human anxieties, and yet cast in bronze they also seem enduring and timeless.