Jess Flood-Paddock: Thunderhead

15 October - 4 December 2013 The Box

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present a new commission for The Box by young British artist, Jess Flood-Paddock, from 15 October to 4 December. Flood-Paddock’s work is concerned with exploring the exchange value of everyday objects and unearthing the hidden narratives connecting seemingly ordinary ‘things.’


Reconfiguring expectations associated with materiality and function, Flood-Paddock plans to encase an unfired clay sphere within The Box. The title of the work derives from a meteorological term for a rounded, illuminated mass of cumulonimbus cloud that often appears before a thunder storm.


Using a small, homemade scraper, Flood-Paddock formed the sphere by continually rotating the clay over a period of 4 days until air dry and able to hold its own weight. Using a particular kind of paint containing metallic particles, the artist sprayed the sphere with different shades of colour before applying an oxidisation solution to rust the surface. The resultant work stages a dialectic between the organic quality of the clay and the synthetic nature of the paint.


Flood-Paddock explains that her ‘first spheres were based on a Vodafone billboard’s image of a pair of pink and green balls of wool and their two-tone offspring under the slogan 'Be closer knit.’ Later spheres were included in my show ‘X’ Amsterdam as stand-ins for London Plane Tree seedpods. You could describe my use of the sphere as simply a vehicle for various ideas.’


Jess Flood-Paddock had a solo exhibition as part of Tate Britain’s ‘Art Now’ series in September 2012. Other recent solo exhibitions include; X, Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam (2012), Fantastic Voyage, Carl Freedman Gallery, London (2011), Gangsta’s Paradise, Hayward Gallery project space, London (2010) and Sacrifice, Swallow Street, London (2010). Recent group shows include; Survey of Contemporary British and Polish art, curated by Tom Morton, CSW Ujadowski Castle, Warsaw (2013), The Forest Residency, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire (2012), Deadpan, The Royal Standard, Liverpool Biennale (2010) and Club Room, Russian Club Gallery, London (2009). Birmingham Museum is on the shortlist for the CAS 2013 Museums Award with Jess Flood-Paddock, an award that is offered to support the work of an artist who is at a stage in their career where they are showing regularly nationally and internationally but may not yet have had major works acquired by public collections.