Benedict Romain employs classically stylised sculpture in bold contrasting contexts to create platforms for debate.
Plaster, brush, canvas, emulsion
‘Grampi’ is a moving investigation into the politics of drawing. It raises questions of the importance of each role in the process, here the drawing tool is as significant as the final canvas, and one is faced with the performative action of drawing itself.
The sculpted head holds great personal weight for the artist as a memento-mori; a portrait of his grandfather (also an artist), modeled from life just weeks before his death. The portrait remains face down on the ground, the drawing elevated onto the wall with Kant-esque reference to art history.
The object becomes both portrait and tool. The sculpted plaster bust tapers into a cone shaped ‘body’. Propped in its mouth is a paintbrush which has been dipped in thick, black ink. With each rotation the head spins, repeatedly marking the canvas. The canvas immortalizes the ephemeral drawing action. A hypnotic and powerful circle, the life cycle of the object, a history of its repetitive clockwork, alluding to our own transience. The third element is a film documenting the action from above giving the ticking of the ‘grandfather clock’.