Figures of expression

These ghostly graphic human forms constitute part of a just-opened exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Made by collaborative art trio Brass Art, they can be variously seen in installation, video and drawing formats at Skyscraping, at the sculpture park’s Bothy Gallery. The spectral figures look as if the hand of CGI has intervened, and, to an extent, that is the case, in that Brass Art has used digital technology in its creation. But the group – which consists of three Manchester- and Glasgow-based artists, Chara Lewis, Kristin Mojsiewicz and Anneké Pettican – is not about the demonstration of computer wizardry, but rather claims to hark back to the mysterious spectacles of the pre-electronic age, the 19th-century shadow plays, magic lanterns and zoetropes, to explore what the group calls an ‘arcane alternative reality’. In one piece to be shown at the gallery, for example, full-body scans of the three artists were printed and will be animated as part of a procession, lit by a light source attached to a model train. It follows a theme developed by Brass Art in other contexts, some of them in the public domain: for instance, at Manchester Airport in 2006, the group showed Interposition, a looped projection of their forms, appearing alongside real passengers on the travelator. Another aspect of Brass Art’s work is in its use of abstract imagery, appealing to the human tendency to pareidolia – the concept of finding recognisable forms in abstract shapes, such as clouds, or burning fires. Whatever the intention, Brass Art’s figures are a glimpse into an uncanny world. Skyscraping runs until 22 June at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Bretton Hall, Wakefield WF4 4LG

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