Public view: Adventures in contemporary art No: 16 Snow Sculpture

A single exhibit dominates the main gallery at Stephen Friedman's - a car covered in snow. It shines mysteriously in the dimly lit space, inviting a closer look.

There's a blanket of two inches of snow over the bonnet, the windscreen and the roof. Down the side of the car, the snow clings in a thinner, rippled layer. The windows are opaque but crisply delineated by a narrow grey shadow, and the four door handles protrude. But the relief is very slight, and the only items that really disturb the lines of the typical modern car box shape are the jutting wing mirrors, swollen by their all round covering. Snow has drifted under the vehicle too, filling the gap between its underside and the floor. No metal or glass or rubber is visible, all is snow. Snow and light, actually: the headlights shine dimly through ...

Of course, it's not snow at all, it's a cast. I rub my hand over the shiny white fibreglass bonnet, wondering vaguely how the artist managed to make it. Kerry Stewart's work is usually models of the human body, and there's one of her figures in this show: Follower. A young person, smaller than life-size, crouches in the corridor outside the main gallery, face blank or expressionless. Monochrome pink skin, brown hair, blue eyes; but the girl's blouse has a pattern to it. She might be listening, but there is a lack of self-awareness about the figure. The viewer can look down on her bowed back, or walk behind and consider her unprotected rear. She's innocent, powerless, vulnerable ... I can never see a Kerry Stewart figure without thinking of The Boy from the Chemist's is Here to See You. In that piece, there was a door with a pane of frosted glass between the viewer and the painted model of a physically disabled boy. (How had the callipered figure walked with his high-street collection box to my home? What a plucky little guy! What does he want from me? Oh, God, I'll never be able to give him enough ... ) Guilt inducing, funny-sad work, I'm thinking as I return to the main gallery. Here, there is a blanket of snow and a car body between me and whoever's trapped in there. It's the headlights that seem to infuse the sculpture with life.

If I could scrape away the model snow and open the door of the implied car, what would I find? An old women huddled in the driver seat. "My Aunt from the Nursing Home is Here to See Me."

The last time Aunt Jean drove her car, I was the only passenger. A bad stroke meant she couldn't walk, but could still drive. After a fashion. The trouble was that she couldn't concentrate any more: the car's speed went up and down, and the vehicle veered back and forth across the highway. At one point we got back to our own side just avoiding a head-on collision with a police car. I remember the shocked look on the driver's face. I expected them to turn round and pursue us. But they didn't. Maybe they understood about old people in country areas having somehow to get from one place to another.

In her first year in the nursing home I visited her regularly. I took her out for a drive once or twice, but she wasn't comfortable. Was I sure the handbrake was off? Did that red light mean we had run out of petrol? Where was the intolerable draught coming from? So we stopped going out for drives. Confined to a wheelchair, she would sit in her little room contentedly watching telly all day, and would cheerily chat about this and that whenever she got a visitor.

I only visit her occasionally now. First she lost interest in the outside world, and now she hardly registers what's going on in the nursing home. When I do visit, I'm soon bored, soon yawning. "You don't have to stay, Duncan," she tells me softly. I look at her. Pink face, golden hair, mild and blue eyes; damaged and defenceless. "Off you go," she says, suddenly decisive.

Jean and me, sitting side by side. We sit there in silence staring at the covered window. When her head bows and she dozes off, I open the door long enough to exit, then seal it again with an unavoidable clunk.

I'm outside the hollow space, looking down at it. No sign of the old- young figure inside, muffled and warm. I walk round the magical sculpture, fascinated and saddened by a pair of dimming headlights.

Kerry Stewart: Stephen Friedman Gallery, W1 (0171 4941434), to Saturday.

'Personal Delivery', Duncan McLaren's book on contemporary art, is published by Quartet (pounds 12).

Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Arts and Entertainment
The audience aimed thousands of Apple’s product units at Taylor Swift throughout the show
musicReview: On stage her manner is natural, her command of space masterful
Arts and Entertainment
Channel 4 is reviving its Chris Evans-hosted Nineties hit TFI Friday

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade (1989)

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
A Glastonbury reveller hides under an umbrella at the festival last year

Glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miles Morales is to replace Peter Parker as the new Spider-Man

comics
Arts and Entertainment
The sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, has stormed into the global record books to score the highest worldwide opening weekend in history.

film
Arts and Entertainment
Odi (Will Tudor)
tvReview: Humans, episode 2
Arts and Entertainment
Can't cope with a Port-A-loo? We've got the solution for you

FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets

Arts and Entertainment
Some zookeepers have been braver than others in the #jurassiczoo trend

Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant

Arts and Entertainment
An original Miffy illustration
art
Arts and Entertainment
Man of mystery: Ian McKellen as an ageing Sherlock Holmes
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Kitchen set: Yvette Fielding, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Sarah Harding and Sheree Murphy
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans has been confirmed as the new host of Top Gear
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Top of the class: Iggy Azalea and the catchy ‘Fancy’
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map