Joel Gray is interested in the primal act of art making and the basic nature of creativity. The idea of “pre language” and man’s desire to communicate with whatever material is at hand is paramount to this artists’ practice. Physical contact with the environment and a quest for understanding through making objects is what drives the works in this exhibition to be made. Joel Gray revels in traditional production methods, shunning the digital world. His work concentrates on stone carving with all its historic implications. He carves everyday consumerist products such as iPhones and luxury sun glasses into stone forms of varying scale. Gray finds a kind of universalism in the intimacy of the body we all inhabit, through the craft and performance of sculpture, in the phones and sunglasses we fondle and desire in an everyday way. On and on through refrigerators for foods, satellites for televisions, helmets for protection and bombs for death, the body stands at the centre of this maelstrom calling for it’s own embodied logic. The logic that emerges is that of the shopkeeper shaman and the beautiful consumer.
Joel Gray works with performance and sculpture. His early career took the form of social events and interventions that created collaborative sculptural objects and installations. Often working outside of the gallery, he has created performances for Tate Modern and Tate Britain, British Museum and the ICA. Joel Gray has recently exhibited with New Primitives in London, The Bun House in London, and the Folkestone Triennial, and is currently artist in residence at Grande Disco, Portugal. He is a founding member of the performance group The Gut Club.