Gerry Judah creates dramatic sculptures that often seem to defy the realms of possibility; breaking normal conventions of gravity, scale and proportion. Mancunians may be familiar with the Kolkata-born, London-based artist and designer through his towering, ghostly crucifix, The Crusader, which hovered above the entrance to the Imperial War Museum North in 2010 (one of his many public commissions commenting on the destruction and stark realities of war and conflict around the world). Motor-enthusiasts, meanwhile, might know his work best for the gigantic, soring constructs he creates each year for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, fired by a childhood spent drawing imaginary landscapes, architectural fantasies and futuristic cars in his bedroom after his family emigrated to post-war London when he was 10.
This year (despite the odds), the artist’s touring exhibition BENGAL: The Four Elements launches at Grizedale Forest Gallery, returning to one of the most central and enduring concerns within his practice: the issue of climate change. The show brings together a striking body of work developed over the course of nearly a decade and looks specifically at the effects of the environmental crisis on the country of his birth, India, whilst delving into aspects of his personal history and broader concerns around tradition and modernity, technology and faith. Presented in the heart of the UK’s first forest for sculpture, the show will feature a range of drawings and sculptures, frequently incorporating the theme of rickshaws depicted bearing impossible, precariously balanced loads as a symbol of the point of tension humanity currently finds it in.
Grizedale Forest is now back open to the public but with measures in place to maintain visitor safety. Visit the Forestry England website for further guidance.