Wednesday, 4 March 2015

I Don't Like Mondays by Ben Turnbull

"Guns are Forbidden Fruit"  In 2009 at west London's Eleven gallery, artist Ben Turnbull from London UK put on an exhibition of seven pieces entitled  'I Don't Like Mondays'. Controversially these were images of a variety of guns carved into old school desks.
Lesson 1, 60 x 120 cm/24 x 47 in (carved desk), 2009

I attended secondary school at the time when the 'Boomtown Rats' released their hit single 'I don't like Monday's', which was the same era when Pink Floyd released 'Another brick in the wall', and yes, I did sometimes feel like shooting certain teachers, but in those days we did still feel we were living in the age of innocence.

Lesson 2, 46 x 58 cm/18 x 23 in (carved desk), 2009

Ben Turnbull seems to have achieved what British artists are often so good at, to subtly shock their audience. In this increasingly gun saturated world a school is expected to be a protected bastion but these weapons peek out from within the school desks as though being viewed with X-ray eyes.

Lesson 3, 60 x 120 cm/24 x 47 in (carved desk), 2009

Here's what Ben has to say on his work when 'ShortList' magazine asked him how he got started as an artist.  "I copied all the Iron Maiden covers on to my desk at school, so I've come full circle. It must be some psychological thing. I've worked in workshops since I was 15 years old. That led to me to working on film sets. I was making a plinth based on Raiders Of  The Lost Ark. I was looking for some wood and someone said to me “What about these old school desks?” I made a beautiful crate-like plinth for this work, and then left a few of the desks around."

Lesson 4, 60 x 120 cm/24 x 47 in (carved desk), 2009

The sight of the old school desks left with the graffiti on, provokes a strong sense of nostalgia tinged with horror, when viewing the carved objects within.

Lesson 5, 60 x 120 cm/24 x 47 in (carved desk), 2009
Lesson 6, 46 x 58 cm/18 x 23 in (carved desk), 2009
Lesson 7, Ben Turnbull, 2009


1 comment:

  1. OMG!!! what an amazing work on wood desk. I am really impressed with his art work. looks like real weapons on the wood. absolutely crazy and innovative. thanks for sharing the links.