Francis Upritchard: Stilted figures

 There’s something very confronting about these theatrically lit, stilted figures by Francis Upritchard on exhibition in Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art as part of the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. With their cloth-draped bodies, flailing limbs and half-closed eyes aligned with yours, you can’t quite tell if they are suspicious, malignant, benign, dreaming or just tired. The work of this New Zealand-born, London-based artist has always teetered on the edges of mysticism, folklore and the tensions between utopian or dystopian guises. Upritchard mines the past and present to create these characters, sourced from folk tales like Robin Hood and the narratives of the Bayeux Tapestry. Different cultural mythologies and the traces of history and popular culture in everyday objects influence the artist’s practice.

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