Barbican Arts Group Trust

David J Smith


“We find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end” James Hutton, Theory of the Earth, 1795

Deep underground, life moves slowly.

This is the world that David J. Smith’s imposing, unsettling, yet somehow sympathetic sculptures inhabit. Entering their domain, we are submerged in a fully-formed environment that is very much alive – not life frozen in time, but life moving so slowly, so imperceptibly, that, were we to watch and wait for years, even centuries, we might never see it in motion. These beings embody lives devoted to and consumed by eternal, elemental labour. Life that has emerged slowly, painstakingly, out of wax, coal, copper and lead. This is the forge of the Earth. This is deep time.



The other side of the Island
exhibition at the Horse Hospital 2007


the other side of the island exhibition at the horse hospital 2007 - David J Smith