Oscar Dempsey has created a body of new, large scale works for his first solo show as an emerging artist.
Dempsey is studying and critically researching the psychology of ‘Pride’ as a collective emotion. Why do ‘proud’ attachments to nations persist in a more globalised world? What pleasures or extremes become possible when people merge or even dissolve their identity into a collective form? Pride is an artificial sentiment, born from society which prompts each individual to attach more importance to themselves. Loss of pride can even provoke aggression and antisocial behaviour in response to ego threats.
Using the anatomy of Hyenas as a visual focal point, he takes influence from their “Dominance Hierarchy” through the intrasexual conflicts in a Matriarchal system. The works resemble limbless figures and torsos from the Roman and Renaissance period. The sculptures attempt to impersonate male nudes as they stand in antagonising positions, while being deemed weak by their dangling limbs. In this show Dempsey explores materials such as latex, styrofoam, wood and metal while utilising a time consuming, hand-carving method to create these large sculptural works.
Oscar Dempsey was the winner of the Winter Open Judge’s Choice Award 2016.