Aidan Duffy creates sculptures of rich texture, shape and structure that combine and fuse the natural and the synthetic; the organic and inorganic. He collects and uses an intriguing range of natural and industrially made materials: stone and driftwood, metals, pottery, furniture and other discarded or found objects. Sometimes materials lie in the studio for months before they are incorporated into a work - movement and making precipitated by a sudden intuition. But the process is not haphazard, there is control and precision. Initial drawings serve as a fluid departure for his studio practice - line and colour leading to compositional armatures of metals, jesmonite and resin with sprinkled pigment: form indivisible from colour. Duffy’s sculptural syntax goes beyond definition, spanning the fine and decorative arts as well as domestic functionality. The title of the exhibition, young coin rite refers to a ‘coming of age’ in our current cultural and social situation. It questions a collective placement of value and guided behavioural tendencies.
For his exhibition at South Parade, Duffy presents seven, new, free-standing and wall-based sculptures. In Protective Bae, beads are stitched onto mesh, resembling swatted flies. In The Grapevine fragments of clothing camouflage weathered wood. A sequin dress becomes chain mail, evoking protection and defence, with outdoor light bulbs and metals nestling and protruding in-between bamboo door curtains. In Revolving at Both Ends there is a cast of a rock formation from the Scottish Highlands in which an embedded CD rack - now grill - guides what might be a feeding tube. It is fastened with metal threaded bars, bolts and epoxy clay. Elsewhere in the gallery are free-standing sculptures, such as Bootleg Cocoon which calls to mind wasps nests or insect gossamers. As with all the other works in the exhibition, Ridin’ Empty with Beading, with its slanted positioning and unassuming elegance, suggests embodiment and personality.
Despite the seemingly fortuitous way in which the material is found and made, these sculptures have a unity and coherence of form and meaning; suggesting a harmony between the body and the environment; and this, in turn, demonstrates the vulnerability and resilience of the world in which we live.