A New Member of The Atkinson Team is Unveiled!

A New Member of The Atkinson Team is Unveiled!

The Atkinson, Sefton’s cultural hub is proudly displaying its newest acquisition ‘Bedtime Boy 1’ by artist Laura Ford in the Galleries as part of the major exhibition ‘Why Look at Animals’.

Why Look at Animals’ examines how our relationship with animals has changed  and features a wide range of animal paintings and sculptures by leading British artists from the last 200 years.

The contemporary sculpture was generously funded by the Friends of The Atkinson and grants from The Art Fund and the ACE/ V & A Purchase Grant Fund.

Stephen Whittle; The Atkinson Museum & Gallery Manager said:

 “Elephant Boy is a piece that attracts people with varying engagement in the arts, and is enjoyed by everyone. This piece attracts a contemporary audience and we hope it will inspire a new generation of visitors into the Galleries.

 It will feature in future collections-based displays that examine the variety of technical means open to artists as well as the range of emotions that their work can evoke.

We are delighted with the new piece and already we have had a fantastic response from the visitors and the staff who have taken him in as one of their own!”

Laura herself as a child travelled the fairground circuit and spent a great deal of her childhood at her grandmother’s farm, which had once been a zoo and contained a wide variety of animals. These early influences played a large part in Ford’s development as an artist and as art student she created a ‘menagerie’ of animal sculptures and she has continued to create work centered on anthropomorphized animals and children.

Laura Ford said: Bedtime Boy is ‘…standing stock still, like a statue in slippers and pyjamas, over which he is wearing a dressing gown. His posture is one of expectancy, both arms behind his back, with a quizzical incline to his head.’

As with many of Ford’s animals, the elephant has no facial features. His character and personality is conveyed entirely from his posture underlining the fact that Ford is essentially a figurative sculptor, whether the figure is human or not.

An artist inspired by Surrealism and film culture, she cites David Lynch Jean Cocteau and Werner Herzog as key influences, and she mixes humour with melancholy and a sense of menace. She is particularly interested in the theme of looking or being looked at, with many of her human or anthropomorphic figures trying to conceal their faces or disguise themselves as trees and animals. Although her work is playful, she addresses a range of social and political issues, her figures often seem isolated or distanced from society.

Her work can be seen in galleries, country houses and sculpture parks around the world  and she is represented in many public collections including the Tate, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Government Art Collection, Potteries Museum, National Museums and Gallery of Wales; Museum of Modern Art, University of Iowa; Arts Council of Great Britain; Contemporary Art Society; Unilever plc; Gallery Oldham, The New Art Gallery Walsall, The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, The Meijier Gardens, Grand Rapids USA and The Gateway Foundation, St. Louis.

You can see Elephant Boy 1 in the current exhibition, ‘Why Look at Animals’ until March 2018.




For interviews or photos please contact Emma Lloyd Emma.lloyd@sefton.gov.uk / 0151 934 2129


‘Why Look at Animals’

Until March 2018

Opening hours:

Monday-Saturday 10am – 4pm

Sundays 11am-3pm (School holidays only)


About The Atkinson

The Atkinson is Southport’s beautiful home for music, theatre, art, poetry, literature and history, right in the middle of Lord Street in Southport. The stunning 19th century buildings were refurbished in 2013 to create a really welcoming family friendly multi art-form venue with a strong contemporary feel.

The Atkinson offers an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts alike, with a full day and night time offer. Wander through the major exhibitions and see performances from some of the UK’s foremost musicians, actors, performers and companies, films, family activities and much more.

Find out about Sefton’s heritage with amazing tales of the sea, Red Rum, Dan Dare and Motor racing in the Museum and then ‘Discover Ancient Egypt’   in our Egyptology Gallery, this remarkable collection of archaeology was  discovered by Mrs Goodison from Bootle and until 2015 had not been seen for over 40 years.

Our lovely gift shop is well worth a visit, with its handmade in Merseyside jewellery and crafts collection and Southport memorabilia and then relax and take in your day in our Bakery with a scrumptious café and coffee.

Follow us @TheAtkinson / #AtkinsonThe

Posted on 10 October 2017 under General news

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