Ross McCormick

Ross obtained a BA in Furniture & Product Design at Nottingham Trent University (2006) and an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Arts (2018). He is currently Artist in Residence at Coventry University.

A principal theme in Ross’ work is ‘the representation and effect of labour’ linking production to the everyday. Influenced by his industrial class roots, he embraces a deconstructivist language that investigates tensions and struggles surrounding a labour economy after postmodernism in an effort to stimulate new ideas around Arts & Engineering.

Through a social realist lens, he often re-surfaces past workers’ lived experience or constructs social sculptural interventions to identify new narratives that engage in a dialogue around process and production. Themes are based around ‘Rights to Protest’, ‘Normative Masculinity’, ‘Immaterial Labour’ and Imperialism. Taking a holistic approach towards the re-use of salvaged automotive readymade objects, he explores the metaphysical relationship between industrial production and spiritual consciousness.

His work Act of Contention is reflective of the complex power relationships of sovereignty and empire. The corroded Vickers and Armstrong cabinet (made 1951 by the makers of the Spitfire Plane) represents the decay of a fractured governance system and modern-day linkages of law and order in a capitalist surveillance society. The wooden gavel hammers bursting out of the cabinet depict a burning disruption to the status quo. Freedom of speech and rights to protest make space and time for activism as dissent.

Pro-justice and pro-migration are underpinned ideals of social justice and democracy, the eighteen hundred and sixty-two hammers produced on a hand lathe in Rajasthan India, a former colony of The British Empire, forefronts the intersectional layers of the coloniser and the colonised and harks back to the Great London Exposition of 1862, a time of great invention and unrivalled respectful legacy, perhaps a better time of morality.

An Act of Contention

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