Following Act II at Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool this summer and Act I at Peer in London last year, Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock’s Love Life concludes this autumn with Act III at the De La Warr Pavilion.
It will run from October 21 until January 7.
Love Life is Baldock and Hart’s most ambitious collaboration to date, a radical reimagining of the traditional seaside show Punch and Judy. Love Life Act III draws on the history of the Pavilion, created as a ‘people’s palace’ to provide culture and entertainment for all.
Through sculpture, moving image and sound, the artists transform Punch and Judy’s puppet booth living quarters into an oversized, darkly humorous place in which the pressure of domestic life is combined with the ever-present threat of violence.
A giant thumb made by Blackpool Council’s Illuminations Department sits on top of enclosed interiors, presented like room sets in an Ideal Home exhibition. Each booth contains sculptures: an oven stacked with anthropomorphic pots and pans, an ironing board with a human head, and a washing machine spewing out its blood-red contents. Beneath the booths, a misshapen raspberry-coloured carpet oozes out into the gallery.
In 2016 Emma Hart won the sixth Max Mara Art Prize for Women, and this summer presented Mamma Mia!, a new large-scale installation at Whitechapel Art Gallery. The commission was the result of her six-month residency in Italy following her award. In 2015, Hart was supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists. She has exhibited extensively across the UK and Europe including at Camden Arts Centre, Folkestone Triennial and La Galerie CAC Noisy Le Sec, France.
Baldock this year was awarded the first Freelands-Lomax Ceramic Fellowship which will culminate in a solo show at Camden Arts Centre in 2018. He has exhibited internationally including solo shows in London, Vienna, New York, Netherlands, Vancouver, Cardiff and Prague.
DLWP activities connected with the opening of this new show include, for children, Puppet Makers on Tuesday from 10-12 noon and from 2-4pm, led by The Workshop.