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Cast marble

Meadow Gallery commission (2007)

As we encounter Swan lying, wings turned upwards on a plinth, we immediately recognise it as a sculpture, as an object we have encountered previously throughout the history of art: the fallen cupids, winged victories, the still life with birds. The sculpture stands near a reflective pool, under the bows of a weeping willow, itself a symbol of death. However, our familiarity with the body and its mode of display, becomes fractured as soon as we realise the swan is dead: Swan exists as an impression of the corpse now absent (the cast was taken from a specimen found dead in a swan sanctuary). We have become so familiar with the aesthetic sources of our inner visual landscape that we often don’t register the individual objects anymore, let alone their actual meaning.
The swan is not a symbol or a pleasing aesthetic mark in the composition of a picture, it is a live being that can also die.

Daphne Wright

Born in Ireland, 1963. Lives and works in Bristol. 'Daphne Wright's work plays with the desire we seem to have for an encounter with beauty in art. Much of her work is visually stunning in a relatively conventional sense. Yet what is central to these works is that on both the macro and micro scale - the distanced and the intimate - Wright willfully undermines this promise of pleasure.'

Daphne Wright's work is the subject of a solo exhibition at Arnolfini in Bristol in 2016, other selected solo exhibitions include those at Limerick City Gallery of Art, Ireland and Frith Street Gallery, London. Wright has been involved in several important international group exhibitions, notably at PS1, New York; Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo; Crawford Art Gallery, Cork; Hauser & Wirth Somerset and at the ICA, Boston.