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Billy Crosby - Props

Coin print by Billy Crosby.

Solo exhibition of new work by 2016 Vanguard Court Prize winner Billy Crosby

4 - 29 September 2017

Theatre props are used to set the scene and create a mood. They help to galvanise the audience’s suspension of disbelief and bring the spectacle alive. They dictate the parameters of an imagined, unreal space where a story or event unfolds.

The material world that surrounds us could be compared to a theatre prop, within which we act out our lives, it is at once awesome and banal. In the hyper-commodified and image-saturated world we inhabit, everything is sensationalised in order to be sold. In this marginalised context the everyday takes on a new power, as a kind of new real.

The language of the theatre prop manifests itself through the simulation of doors and windows, brought together with the everyday object, they enquire into the nature of artifice and the affective qualities of labour and gesture.

Cardboard becomes wooden, fairy lights are stars, coins changed to knots and ornaments, rain drops are painstakingly syringed, bark is cast and leaves are preserved in resin. These different objects and materials, when combined, become more than the sum of their parts, often creating a dichotomy, for example by appearing soft and solid, or seeming serious and amusing simultaneously. In relation to direct experience these recalibrations attempt to investigate the structures and systems at play in our society.

Billy Crosby graduated from BA Painting in 2016.

See more of Billy's work on his website

About the Vanguard Prize

The Vanguard Prize, launched in 2010, is open to current graduates and recent alumni of Camberwell College of Arts. The winner is offered a free studio residence for a year at Vanguard Court, along with ongoing mentoring and support from Camberwell to help them develop their work and career.