The Work Philosophy of Angus Taylor

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Angus Taylor. Image by Kevin Facor.

Several ideas underlie the sculptural works of Angus Taylor. These are not separate but interlinked; and the concept of interlinking itself is important.

Taylor expresses a fascination with aspects of Quantum Theory, including the necessary relationship between the part and the whole, and that the part is as significant as the whole. In terms of his mediums and techniques, this is seen in particular in his work that uses stones and slate.

Coming out of the understanding of the equal importance of parts is the idea of the ‘anti-monument’, as Taylor terms it. He feels that the western world has been over-concerned with certain iconology, for example the more traditional ‘male hero on a horse’, at the expense of other subjects which are just as vital in the equation of human life. This belief is expressed in his work by his choices of subject matter such as a woman on a donkey or a child.

In addition he is very aware of the perspective of the viewer, that a public sculpture is consciously or unconsciously intended for the ‘male gaze’.

Although most of Taylor’s sculpture is life-size or large-scale, his treatment of the subject and positioning of it on site works against the western ideal of the monument as intimidating, as seen in the ambiguity created by the enormous heads in Belated wake, as they either sink into or rise from the ground, rather than being raised on a column in the traditional portrait style. Taylor sees his attempts to remove the sense of elitism from his own work as a metaphorical comment about aspects of elitism in the contemporary artworld. Linked to this is his idea of a ‘gift economy’ as opposed to a ‘market economy’.

Taylor’s work also refers to the co-existence of opposites in life, and the notion that nothing is stable, that all is constantly changing and in a state of tension.

 

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