Anthony Heywood

The impact of Anthony’s work has been consistent throughout his career, and he has generated regional, national and international coverage because of the nature of his work. It involves using ready-mades natural materials and household detritus. This generates a particular aesthetic which challenges the observer’s perception of beauty. This has created public, press and media interest.

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AHEYWOOD@ucreative.ac.uk


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Mother Elephant

In this work, context and content informs an image that does not suffer from isolation, nor is it neutralised. The catalyst was a television news item which was about the indescrimate slaughter of elephants simply for their ivory tusks. Apart from the obvious, and very relevant, considerations of suffering and conservation it was the ultimate irrationality of this barbaric act that engaged me to do the work, as I felt that as an artist I wanted to show my concern for the plight of the elephants. Why does ivory have such value and why do we allow the simple law of supply and demand- as applied not to basic essentials, but to conspicuous consumption, to exercise such a gross tyranny over our planet?  The work therefore challenges traditional notions, initially by evoking classicism, a form which utilised materials of both symbolic and intrinsic value which would age gracefully. This idea of long term appreciation and value is quite obviously alien, not only to the procurers and purveyors of ivory, but too much of contemporary culture. Ironically, the medium of television, which was responsible for disseminating the plight of the elephants, is also responsible for the dissemination of a great deal of information and entertainment which is arguably of dubious value. A television set which is not performing the function for which it was designed, is a peculiarly bereft and graceless object- the very epitome of vacuity- the detritus of culture. The body of an elephant slaughtered solely for possession of its tusks is the detritus of a supply created to meet the demand of a particular rarefied ostentatious and perverted refinement of taste.