LAURA FORD AT STRAWBERRY HILL HOUSE, CURATED BY STEPHEN FEEKE
days of judgement, 2012
the starting point for days of judgement was a fifteenth-century fresco by masaccio of adam and eve's expulsion. however in her postlapsarian vision, the character adam and eve are reconfigured as a group of seven tall and skinny cats
waldegrave poodles, 2015
in the great parlour of strawberry hill house, this new work by laura ford entitled 'waldegrave poodles'  is based on joshua reynolds' portrait of horace walpole's nieces, 'the ladies waldegrave' which originally hung there
armour boys, 2006
the series of bronze 'armour boys'  emerged after ford had been on a residency at the scottish sculpture workshop in aberdeenshire, where she was pleased to learn that ' you can be quite playful with the process' of bronze casting. ford regards the armour boys as fossilized, like the body casts of pople caught in the volcanic eruption of pompeii - lending these works a hostorical, even classical quality
medieval cloud girls, 2015
the two figures entitled 'medieval cloud girls'  wear velvet dresses with fur trims and amazing velvet head pieces. they relate to a photo of laura and her sister in posh dresses with real mink trimming. they have red fabric flames falling from their head pieces, because ford was intrigued by a medieval wooden relief in dijon which depicted hell with a cloud raining fire, hence her two girls rain fire.
sorrow filled cat, 2014
dressed up as as a victorian lady with a tweed bonnet and cape sorrow filled cat  stands alone and forlorn. ford remembers that in her early works, she was interested in making a sculpture for which she felt 'a little bit sorry. it was like it wanted to be looked at but at the same time it sort of collapsed in embarrassment when you stared at it.'
sorrow filled cat [red bonnet] featured in the gallery's winter 2015 exhibition
bed time boys i+ii, 2012
while the heads of the cloud girl's were hidden by velvet flames, the boy's heads are featureless. this is also true of many of fords animals as she believes this allows the viewer to look at these works more directly. without facial expressions the various moods of her figures are provided by the varied postures they adpot
weeping girl, 2009
ford made four 'weeping girls' in 2009, in response to an invitation to show new work at jupiter artland and the venue influenced ford's choice of subject. jupitar artland is close to the little sparta, the garden of sculptor ian hamilton finlay [1925-2006], who produced a body of work inspired by the ideas and forms of neo-classicism. ford's figures make reference to white marble classical greek sculptures of mourners from tombs. the figures' bronze surfaces were painted white to make that connection
dancing clog girls, 2013
the three 'dancing clog girls' were made especially for ford's exhibition at the schaezlerpalais in 2013. marie antoniette, an icon of glamour and a great dancer, paid a visit to the palace on 28 april 1770, two weeks after marrying louis xvi in vienna, and danced a minuet with the prince of starhemberg. black was the colour of festive occasions which is why ford's three dancers wear black dresses and bonnets that cover their plaited hair.
in the last couple of years, ford has made powerful animal figures using coffee bean sacks as her chosen fabric and their raw canvas material lends these figures a stripped down rough strength. ford was asked to consider making a sculpture for a training college, where people deal with customs and immigration. the commission was never realised, but kangaroo  appeared as a consequence. ford describes 'kangaroo' as someone who has just cleared customs and has 'got away with it'.