This small but intriguing show presents drawings and sculptures by Takayuki Hara, a Japanese-born artist resident in the UK. The works on display are from the last three years, part of a project inspired by the Metamorphoses of Ovid, and focusing on the "shapeshifting" of bodies, animals and nature. If this leads you to expect something a bit cerebral, don't be fooled. He manages to pack his works with such an array of different body parts that they start to feel not just organic but visceral - eyes, ears, toes, genitalia, indeterminate organs with tubes extending, maybe hearts or stomachs or bladders. A curious tension emerges between the controlled, technical quality of the drawing, painstakingly executed in very fine pencil, and their potentially earthy subject matter. The sculptural pieces reproduce this tension - for instance, incorporating organic forms such as egg shells under the confines of a glass bell jar. (Images are just my snaps).
Takayuki Hara: A Shapeshifting World
Unit24 Gallery, London
22 February to 14 March 2013
Above: Takayuki Hara, Hollow, 2011. Polymer clay, eggshell, print and graphite on a wooden box in a glass dome. Height 18cm, width 8cm. Image: STF.
Below: Takayuki Hara, Bridge, 2011. Graphite on paper. Height 42cm, width 59cm. Image: STF.