The Beautiful And The Damned

July 14 - August 2, 2009

Joanna Langford


The Beautiful And The Damned

In a brief and busy career so far, Jo Langford has become known for creating light, ethereal structures - sculptural flights of fantasy made using secondhand and ephemeral materials. Hers is a magical touch with recycled plastic bags, kebab skewers and a hot glue gun.

The Bautiful and The Damned detailThis installation, The Beautiful And The Damned, has an earthier feel. Langford has built a Manhatten-like skyline, or a series of towers comprising computer keyboards stacked end on end, one above the other. Here however, the ecological or architectural imaginary meets something slightly more electrical. With their keys punched out, Langford creates grids of windows that she back lights with LED's filtered and placed different distances behind each keyboard. The lights are sequenced to switch on and off differentially. The effect is surprisingly tonal yet quiet. And the feeling is of bearing witness to an eerie chimera of thousands of flashing screens.

detail1detail3Are we being offered visually the very essence of our cities? Or put another way, is it this infrastructure to do with mass communication and cyberspace that now marks out our cities? For the physicality of these wobbly old towerblocks aside, humanity is now maintained more by lines of transmission than ever before. From each side of the space, big pylons are both chandelier and ship as they bring power to Langford's supercity. The wiring mass behind the work is testimony to the power of this grid.

Lit from both within and without, in an environment best described as crepuscular, The Beautiful And The Damned is both substantive and ethereal all at once.

drawings I-IV drawingI


Selected works



Details of works:

The Beautiful And The Damned
mixed media installation, 2008
dimensions variable

Nightlands (images 2 & 3)
mixed media, 2009
700 x 550 x 250mm

from The Beautiful And The Damned
drawings I - IV
LED lights, card & wire, 2009
450 x 640 x 40mm ea