Born 1976, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Lives and works in London, UK
Francis Upritchard's five spectacular figurative sculptural works shown in APT8 reference a variety of cultural and temporal influences that capture the movements of a theatrical war dance. Upritchard draws on street performance traditions dating from the time of court actors and jester troupes, as well as Renaissance sculpture and a group of combatants in the Bayeux tapestry. The figures deliberately tread a line between reality and fantasy: less than life-size, captured in elaborate poses with ungainly limbs and half-closed eyes, and standing on carefully designed plinths, they resemble marionettes absorbed in their own world. Upritchard's aesthetic is one of the handmade, reclaimed and recycled. Her figures, made from polymer modelling clay pressed over wire armatures, wear billowing white shirts and grey knitted chain mail. Enigmatic and detached, they act in an undisclosed play or masquerade.