Chris Dobrowolski

23 October–13 December 2014

In & Model’s second exhibition given over to the work of a single individual, we present Chris Dobrowolski’s sculptural work spanning the last fifteen years, comprising a complex combination of story telling, object making and performance.

Born in Essex and raised in the pre-digital age of the 1960’s and 70’s, reading Ladybird books and The Eagle comic and playing with Dinky toys and Meccano, Chris Dobrowolski occupied his childhood time immersing himself in the analogue world of the mechanical and kinetic. His father, a Polish solider during World War II and later a carpenter, clearly had a significant influence on Dobrowolski’s creative career, teaching him the fundamentals of construction interlaced with colourful accounts of his wartime exploits in North Africa and Italy.

Dobrowolski’s work ranges from small-scale diorama-type modeling to large installation projects and fully functioning machines. Although the work is fundamentally sculptural, it often also involves painting. Another distinctive aspect of his practice is that it is made entirely by Dobrowolski himself without the aid of specialist technicians. His most recent work, produced by Artsadmin and supported by Escalator Live Art, is a performance lecture, All Roads Lead to Rome, about restoring his family’s 1960s Triumph Herald and driving it to Rome to retrace his father’s footsteps whilst exploring issues of consumerism and the legacy of Italy’s turbulent political history.

Travel and transport, literally and metaphorically, are at the heart of all Dobrowolski’s work, including a tea chest airplane, a one-man hovercraft, a full-sized, road-going pedal car and a recent trip to the Antarctic with the British Antarctic Survey as part of their writers and artists programme.

His recently published book, Escape, recounts the stories behind all these projects, his personal journey as an artist, and just how he came to be on a ship heading for the Antarctic with a Ladybird book, an Action Man, a plastic penguin and a sledge made from gilt picture frames.

Other recent projects include Poland 3 Iran 2 with 30 Bird Productions, about international football in the 70’s, and Vanishing Point, a series of miniature film installations with Leslie Hill of Curious as part of Live Art Collective East. Chris is also currently an associate artist at Art Exchange at the University of Essex.

&Model is proud to be able to present a representative survey of the broad range Chris Dobrowolski’s unique, eccentric and sometimes hilarious art practice.

Photo – Alister Doyle (Reuters)

Photo – Alister Doyle (Reuters)

Photo – Fergal Buckley (Reuters)

Photo – Fergal Buckley (Reuters)