'Cycles of Radical Will', Shaun Gladwell's new solo show
at Bexhill on Sea, gives visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the Australian artist's video and installation art - quite literally, if they're prepared to jump on a BMX bike or a skateboard and take to the roof of the De La Warr Pavilion.
From a skateboarder on the seafront at Sydney's Bondi Beach ( Storm Sequence
2000), to a motorcyclist travelling through the Outback ( Approach to Mundi Mundi
2007), Gladwell's art often focuses on the relationship of the figure in motion to its environment. His newly-created work in this show responds to both the sweeping Bexhill seafront and the folk traditions of the region. He is particularly interested in the Hastings May Day celebrations, which hark back to ancient Celtic festivities marking the beginning of summer and feature the leaf-covered character of 'Jack in the Green'.
In this video, he discusses some of the ideas behind the show, focusing on three of the works in particular - the rooftop installation Mini Ramp Intersection, which can be booked for use by skateboarders and BMX riders, and the video works BMX Channel and Jack in the Green.
- Gladwell, who represented Australia at the 2009 Venice Biennale and is now based in London, is one of the contemporary artists featured in the forthcoming Royal Academy exhibition Australia