Sculptor Anne Wenzel asks: Was it for this the clay grew tall? as we remember the Somme and Easter Rising

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A new exhibition by Rotterdam-based sculptor Anne Wenzel, who uses clay to question the manipulative narrative of nationalist architecture and sculpture, is to be shown at the Void gallery, with the curators sayings it’s particularly timely as we come up to the anniversaries of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme.

The work of artist Anne Wenzel in ‘Night Falls, Day Breaks’ is being shown for the first time in a solo exhibition in the UK and Ireland.

Opening the Void programme for 2016, the exhibition has a certain critical and thematic resonance with other cultural and civic activities which will take place this year in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland. Specifically, events which are part of what has been termed the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ that begins with the centenaries of the Easter Rising in Dublin and the WW1 Battle of the Somme, both of which took place in 1916.

Wenzel is a German born artist who lives and works in The Netherlands. Negotiating a subversive position between tradition and modernity, the artist creates monumental ceramic sculptures and installations that are often placed in a specifically orchestrated setting.

Departing from the historical iconography of commemoration and of the memorial, Wenzel interrogates art historical and political themes through her unorthodox use of that most primal and traditional of materials – clay. Deeply interested in the language of ‘heroism’ these artworks question the manipulative narrative of nationalist architecture and sculpture. Wenzel simultaneously appropriates and re-interprets the value of the symbolic in new forms which are resonant with contemporary political and civic challenges.

Curated by Mhairi Sutherland, Anne Wenzel’s ‘Night Falls, Day Breaks’ runs at the Void in Patrick Street from February 20 to April 16, 2016.