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Grinding the Wind by BA Fine Art Alumna Mimi Winsor

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Published date 01 November 2013
Photo by Chris King

Photo by Chris King

Emerging Artist Mimi Winsor presents a new commission ‘Grinding the Wind’ on the historic site of Millbank prison, at Chelsea College of Art and Design, after graduating earlier this year with a multi-award winning degree show.

Sculptor and inventor Mimi Winsor has been commissioned to create a large-scale work for the Rootstien Hopkins Parade Ground, opposite Tate Britain, following the success of her Chelsea degree show, where she was awarded both the ‘This is This’ Commission and the Ovalhouse Award.

Now returning to Chelsea, Winsor presents a new sculptural invention titled ‘Grinding the wind’ for the ‘This is This’ commission 2013. As visitors enter the cobbled courtyard of Chelsea Art School, built on the former site of Millbank Prison, they are confronted by an absurd contraption. Taking inspiration from the ‘correctional labour devices’ used within the Victorian penal system, Winsor has designed a striking mechanical sculpture that is propelled by ‘prisoners’ winding its mechanism during live performances. Whether you encounter the device during activation or at rest it is an intriguing sight, a contemporary artwork that echoes the courtyard’s dark past.

Art Collector Anita Zabludowicz hailed Winsor’s degree show as ‘An ambitious Willie Wonka and the chocolate factory meets Roxy Paine scenario’. The piece titled ‘Squeeze, Pinch, Stretch, Role, Dollop and Extrude’ utilised 1 tonne of playdough, that was squashed into various machines invented and built by Winsor. These contraptions explored the playdough’s mass in a playful and often humorous manner through the dance of mishaps that unfolded during live performances.

Winsor’s work to date orchestrates a playful encounter for the viewer in the crossover between contemporary art and theatre. Absurd in their conception, her installations are both humorous and delightfully ridiculous. Seemingly purposeful machines carry out pointless tasks, creating a new process based sculpture live in the space.

Winsor’s previous work includes commissions for the Discovery Channel, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital and Frontier Economics. She has a solo show next year at Ovalhouse.

Photo by Mimi Winsor

Photo by Mimi Winsor