The Tetley

Refinding: Jessie Flood-Paddock & Kenneth Armitage

6 May – 30 July 2017

This exhibition brings together new and recent works by London-based artist Jessie Flood Paddock, with the Oak Tree series of sculptures, drawings and prints by the celebrated 20th century sculptor, the late Kenneth Armitage.

In 2013, Flood-Paddock was awarded the Kenneth Armitage Fellowship, which enabled her to live and work in Armitage’s studio for two years. During her residency, Flood-Paddock became interested in Armitage’s work on oak trees produced between 1975 and 1986.

Armitage was inspired by the ever-changing, ancient oak trees of Richmond Park. He said, “I suddenly saw them. It was a bright spring day with blue sky and little white clouds, and everywhere I looked it was a revelation, the trees were alive.” Throughout this period, he would visit the park as often as three times a week to sketch and eventually make the table-top bronzes exhibited on this floor and the large sculpture, Richmond Oak, shown outside The Tetley.

In the Leeds Beckett Atrium is a monumental new sculpture by Jessie Flood-Paddock. Entitled Lion Vasa, the work is inspired by the figurehead of a 17th century ship that sank minutes into its maiden voyage, here scaled-up and made in fragile materials. Lion Vasa is also the starting point for a series of new stories by Tom Morton. Throughout the exhibition Flood-Paddock and Armitage’s works alternate in each space, bringing the private dialogue between these two artists into the gallery for the first time.

A catalogue published to accompany the exhibition will be available to purchase in
The Tetley’s shop from 4 June.

Refinding forms part of the Armitage Centenary programme in his home city, which also includes the exhibition Kenneth Armitage: Sculpture and Drawing of the 1950s at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery until 15 July. Refinding is supported by The Kenneth Armitage Foundation and Carl Freedman Gallery. Flood-Paddock’s new commission is supported by the Henry Moore Foundation, The Elephant Trust and Artists’ General Benevolent Institution.

With thanks to Brian Fell and Civic Engineers.