ubereats advert
Brewhemia ad 2023

Daniel Silver: Looking

daniel silver

Words: Michael Whitham

Sculptors being interested in the human body is not new. However, Daniel Silver’s exhibition at Fruitmarket manages to explore and question the subject matter in novel and affecting ways. Taken at a cursory glance, the work might feel fairly traditional – ceramic sculptures, loosely representative of  human figures, painted in oils. However, being in the gallery space and spending time with these sculptures offers something altogether more unique, moving and profound. 

This is an exhibition about a universal experience – what it’s like to have a body. More specifically, what it’s like to have a body that is different from the other bodies around you – the ones you live with, experience and encounter every day. In what ways are the shapes and colours of some bodies different to others?  What do they have in common? How do our physical differences and similarities bring us together and in what ways do they push us apart? What does it mean to have a body that works well, and how does that contrast with the experience of having a body which is – in some way – not functioning the way we would like.

Some of these sculptures feel proud, tall and strong. Others feel more precarious, displaying slight imbalances which threaten the integrity and safety of the whole – as though the wrong lid has been placed on a pot, sitting askew and liable to fall at any moment.  

The work is beautifully, skillfully made which gives it a mesmeric quality. The sculptures feel powerful, present and commanding of your attention, but at once fragile, vulnerable and in need of respect and care. 

The display of the work evokes, and questions, the idea of community – of the ways in which  we choose to group ourselves together – and the ways in which we designate those different to ourselves as ‘other’. It also asks questions about the power we have when we unify as a group. The dominant collection of busts gathered in two rows on the ground floor loom over us as the viewer – powerful, dominant, impervious – are they an audience? Or a jury?

This is an exhibition which might seem simple, but further contemplation offers powerful and exciting hidden depths.

“Daniel Silver: Looking” is at the Fruitmarket Gallery until 26.09.22 Open 11am–6pm daily. Free.


Subscribe to edfestmag.com

Latest from edfestmag.com


Let's Get Social