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Sarah Staton, details of the hand painted tile face of Alphonso

Intimations of Alphonso

To celebrate the unveiling of a major new public sculptural commission, entitled ‘Alphonso’, located on Little Callow Mound, Milton Keynes, Albany Arts is hosting an open studio. This will feature drawings, paintings and related studio work by Sarah Staton, at 16 Davies Mews, Mayfair London W1K 3DS, on Wednesday 15th of September, from 2pm to 8pm. Entitled ‘Intimations of Alphonso’, the artwork that will be presented in the studio explores a line of creativity that celebrates the delicate balances and beauty of our fragile natural environment.

The open studio presentation creates an expanded dialogue with the Milton Keynes commission, revealing something of the backstory that sits behind creating a sculpture for the public realm. 
The focus on the sky within the works on show in the open studio resonates with pictorial motifs that adorn the public sculpture. Developed in dialogue with residents, ‘Alphonso’ takes the form of a triangular, three-sided lakeside folly. The sculpture incorporates an abstracted hand-painted image in blue and white glaze. Inspired by Azulejos, and built from wood-fired handmade brick, it depicts the local area, its wildlife and history. Further motifs can be discovered on the façade that looks toward the wood, where raised and cut brick slips are arranged in a geometric fish motif that ripples across the surface. 

‘Alphonso’, is located on Little Callow Mound in Newton Leys; the sculpture includes a decorative archway and seat which overlooks Willow Lake and the environment around it. The artwork forms part of Milton Keynes Council’s ongoing Public Art commissioning programme — since the town’s inception in the 1960s, more than 250 artworks have been created, all of them within the public realm. ‘Alphonso’ is the most recent addition to this ongoing commitment to the council’s ambitious and strategic public art commissioning initiative. The Milton Keynes sculpture, which is about to launch is also greatly related to topics of the studio show.

Alongside creating public art, Staton is the curator of an ongoing art public’s exhibition ‘SupaStore’, which looks at the changing condition of retail. It is a peripatetic shop selling works by up-and-coming contemporaries, unknowns and established artists such as Sol LeWitt, Mike Kelley and Stephen Willats.

“Shopping is arguably the last remaining form of public activity […] the voracity by which shopping pursues the public, has in effect, made it one of the principles – if only – modes by which we experience the city” (Harvard Guide to Shopping).
‘SupaStore Southside, Slingbacks & Sunshine’, is currently hosted by The South London Gallery, and runs until 5 September 2021. Occupying Gallery 2 & 3, in the Fire Station building, it features works by 60 artists including Gavin Turk, Yinka Shonibare, OBE RA, Claes Oldenburg, Abbas Zahedi and Rut Blees Luxemburg.

Studio Sarah Staton
16 David Mews
London, United Kingdom

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