Josie Spencer's work is a return to the most ancient and respected image - the human body interpreted with sure artistic technique.
She proves this inspiration is still as flexible and compelling now as ever. Her sculptures concentrate on a timeless conundrum: beauty's impermanence and fragility and the transience of the human condition.
The style is realism with a difference. The calm of Fragments, women and men, are seen threatened with destruction and dissolution, yet display great strength in their presence. They are, perhaps, the archaeological finds of our own time. The fleeting figure destroyed is still somehow immortal; in pieces, it still triumphs.
When the works are seen as they are meant to be viewed - in situ - in nature or against a background utterly real and unartful, the message is reinforced.
DCS, Washington, DC 2008
"As to your sculptures..I find them striking in their combination of elegance and brutality. The edges of the pieces seem to have been ripped away, while the figures themselves are in a completely different world- mostly serene, sometimes playful, but always unaware of the harsh edges of their existence.
I also particularly like the idea of suspending the bronzes by thin cables... it adds another dimension of contradiction."
Guy Bradley, Provence,France
"Most of the figures seem to be moving into and dwelling on the future. Their size and attitude press themselves into one's memory; the remote beauty of these pieces and the broken ends. They would look marvellous in sand, as if half buried by the impact of falling, or in water, rising out of a shimmering silvery surface, or set in the bed of a stream. The movement of the water would emphasize their beauty and strength, each muscle so delicate and perfectly placed, or, in evening light, casting linear shadows, which would bring out the falling speeding beauty… as the sun sets… Icarus-people fall softly to earth."
"And as previously mentioned it's impressive how you have made the work in advance of recent events. It feels like a glance back at the current anniversary of World War One, but also a look forward to the no doubt horrifying results when we hear the fall out of current conflicts in the Middle East. It does (sadly) remain the job of artists (as well as multiplying the beauty in the world) to remind us all of the importance of learning from history and not repeating the same mistakes over and over. Like, in my view, war.
Jane Millais, Berkshire UK 2013
But isn't it the job of the artist to make us look at something that we would rather not or something that those in power would wish was invisible. Either by finding the beauty in it or by making so striking an image that it's impossible to pull one's eyes easily away?"
"I had the good fortune and presence of mind" (...to buy...) "a Josie Spencer sculpture from her London show “Low Entropy: The Archaeology of Our Time.”
Her human figures, many of them reclining or in repose, have been worked, pulled apart, fired, reassembled and cast. Josie’s masterful in capturing the living spirit in the metal."
Actress Alfre Woodard
(From an Article in The New York Times, Nov 2013 - Click to read...)
(Portrait by Eamon Kennedy 2012)