Current Upcoming Year

Gavin Turk: The Box - Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

22 January - 13 February 2016
Gallery: Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is pleased to present a new project in The Box by YBA Gavin Turk. Running from 22 January 2015 to 13 February 2016, the project, Water Biscuit (2010), will be accompanied by the release of a new limited edition print, Half and Half (2015).

Half way down (or up) a classic half-pint pub glass, a circular biscuit is stuck flat across its diameter. The thickness of the glass adds an invisible, internal edge, allowing the biscuit to seemingly float. This visual effect provokes the viewer to imagine the surface of the biscuit as that of a liquid’s meniscus. The two objects powerfully expose themselves through a formal balancing act, serving to challenge each other’s everyday functions; the glass becomes an eccentric vitrine, whilst the biscuit becomes a mere place-marker.

The work subliminally points to the old adage where people describe glasses as being half full or half empty depending on their positivity. Whilst the diameter of the biscuit happens to place the biscuit at exactly half way, the sides of the glass fan out, creating an optical illusion suggesting that it is nearer the top.

The water biscuit, made with minimal ingredients of flour and water, is also known as a ship’s biscuit or hardtack (tack being a slang-word meaning food). This was developed by the British Navy as a kind of long lasting bread to provide sustenance. The fact that the glass cannot be used to drink liquid, and that the biscuit is stuck inside, turns on its head the cliché of people being kept alive on a diet of bread and water.