Left Left (No No to Knock-Knocks) by Brian Griffiths

By sculptor and Gilbert Bayes Award judge, Brian Griffiths

I believe making sculpture is being caught up with things, a realisation that self and stuff is always mixed up.

Sculpture sits in the world with us, it is an object like us. Nice.

Sculpture is thinking with things, or considering how things think – contesting the distinction between thoughts and things, subjects and objects.  

Sculpture is promiscuous, wayward and at its best badly behaved.

Sculpture demands practice, risky stuff, of doing and doing and doing, and the occasional undoing.  

Sculpture questions our relationship to objects, to search for the other side of the commodity object.  An art that is concerned with other ways to think and feel.

Sculpture is a great pretender; a fabrication that points to our need for storytelling and artifice. We have art so we won’t die of truth.

Sculpture networks ideas, articulates subjectivities and creates communities.

Sculpture reflects its place – its society – its time. Our time.

Sculpture negotiates material facts with competing interwoven fictions.

Sculpture is inconvenience, a challenge and the unexpected.

Sculpture doesn’t need to be given the badge of ‘excellence’ or to be continually instrumentalised for market rationales, for state propaganda, for regional gentrification. Remember (note to self), the glory of making without destination.  Art is not a thing - it is a way.

Sculptors live completely (make note all early career sculptors).


Brian Griffiths was a judge for this years Gilbert Bayes Award for early career sculptors. He is a sculptor and presently Senior Lecturer at the Royal Academy Schools in London.

Image credit: Left Left (No No to Knock-Knocks) by Brian Griffiths, 2018, Detail. Courtesy the Artist and Galeria Luisa Strina. Photo: Peter Mallet