Compulsive, obsessive, repetitive

Artists have been driven to make painstaking sculptures out of sugar cubes, fish scales and other unusual materials for a new exhibition at Towner contemporary

Matilda Battersby
Wednesday 07 October 2015 09:41

An exhibition of work by sculptors who use painstakingly small-scale repetitive processes to create large-scale installations out of unusual materials is currently showing at Eastbourne’s Towner contemporary art museum.

Compulsive, Obsessive, Repetitive shows the work of artists who are driven by the titular compulsions and obsessions to repeat labour intensive processes in the pursuit of artistic results. It is composed of five new commissions and one existing work.

The fruit of this exacting labour includes a sugar cube construction by Brendan Jamison. Made with more than 250,000 cubes of sugar, Tower is 5 metres high, weighs more than 500kg and resembles the fairytale tower Rapunzel might have been locked in.

Click here or on the image to see the exhibition in pictures

Stranger than a sugar sculpture is Elpida Hadza-Vasileva’s piece, Reoccurring Ululation, which is made out of 1,100 salmon and trout skin tiles, the colossal dimensions of which fill the full length of a wall. Similarly ghoulish is Claire Morgan’s Machine Says No, 2007 – a stuffed rat hanging amid geometric shapes created using plastic bags suspended on thread

Hammering home the concept of repetition to the point of obsession is Jill Townsley’s Till Rolls which, as the title suggests, is an intricate landscape of twisted receipt paper comprised of 9,375 till rolls formed vertical cones of up to 12ft high.

Susie MacMurry’s “sculptural drawing” in black currugated hose is a wild and unruly form which reaches the length of one gallery wall. Equally architecturally imposing in the Towner’s vast 650 square meter space, is a work by Henry Seaton (the collaborative name of duo Rex Henry and Graham Seaton) made up of Tetris-shaped concrete and plaster blocks.

“These artists transform the most mundane or domestic of elements through laborious, repetitive processes on the smallest scale, into large installations which take months or years to complete,” Matthew Rowe, artistic director of Towner, said.

Compulsive, Obsessive, Repetitive is at Eastbourne’s Towner contemporary art museum until 18 September 2011, for more information visit

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