Virginia Leonard, Urns for Unwanted Limbs and Other Things, 2022
Clay, resin, lustre, gold. Urns H350-1100 x W290-600mm. Plinths 1500 x 300mm.
Urns for Unwanted Limbs and Other Things is a series of seven sculptures from Virginia Leonard.
Reimagined in her characteristic skittle-coloured glazes and shining lustres, Leonard transforms the classic funerary vessel of the urn into something far from funereal. Leonard conceives these vessels as “a place to discard what you will.” This might include, she suggests, “feet, left legs, abdominal fat, double chins, in-laws, annoying neighbours.”
Like all of her works, the urns poke fun at our intolerance for what is uncomfortable, messy or deficient about ourselves and our lives: while we might be right to wish to be rid of belly fat and in-laws, any attempt to cut them loose and stow them away would be mostly hopeless, especially in these urns, which are covered in holes and protrusions and perched upon spindly stools, ready to be toppled by an onshore wind.