Jonathan Baldock: Touch Wood

Contact Details:

West Bretton, Wakefield, WF4 4LG


Leeds Inspired

Jonathan Baldock: Touch Wood

23rd September 2023 - 7th July 2024

Touch Wood is a joyous, sensory feast taking inspiration from medieval sculpture, sacred geometry, the seasons and folk motifs.

Jonathan Baldock’s distinctive sculptural installations are immersive environments where colour, texture, scent, sound and humour combine with storytelling and enigmatic characters. Their sensory appeal is underpinned by an unsettling quality, like entering an unknown ritual. Myth, folklore and paganism, with their shapeshifting and fluid creatures, are central to the artist’s work, which offers space to reimagine queer and working people’s histories, explore hidden narratives and create alternative realities.

For Touch Wood in YSP’s Weston Gallery, Baldock will create a completely new body of work, embracing textile sculpture and hangings, ceramic sculpture, and an evocative soundscape, created by musician Luke Barton, that unites the show’s themes through song and sampled audio. The artist’s overarching imagery for the exhibition has its origins in the fifteenth-century misericords and carved wooden figures from the quire* of nearby Wakefield Cathedral.

The exhibition’s title, Touch Wood, is many layered and loaded with innuendo. Materially, it refers to the medieval carved figures from which the artist’s ideas grew.

* The quire is the area of a church or cathedral that provides seating for the clergy and church choir.