Joseph Hillier FRBS harnesses the possibilities of digital technologies to create a new body of work that questions the digital revolution we are living in. The solo exhibition, digitalrendition, uses the primal power of the human form, alongside new technological advancements, as a means of expression. Breathe, a monumental figure whose geometric molecular make-up dissipates as it reaches further towards the sky, greets the viewer in the gallery’s forecourt.
Moving away from Hillier’s method of using polyhedral or geodesic structures in opposition to the solid human form, the artist’s new pieces internalise the geometric into the fabric of the figure. Here, he analyses and reinterprets the human form and its movement using 3D motion sensing, printing and animation. Inevitably, sculpture becomes a vital interface between the digital and the real world, and the works on show are a poignant analysis of humanity’s relationship to the world of ephemeral data structures.
Hillier’s pieces physically embody some of the visual information around us which is in a continuous state of flux and fluidity. The artist’s unique approach to the topic is apparent in the way he masters digital techniques whilst avoiding the typical trap of creating soulless entities. The manufacturing of his works combine elements of both technological processes and human expression: for example, he counters the motion of machines with hand-welded laser cut parts.
Alongside technology, scale is also a recurring factor in the exhibition. In Our Image (2009) towers above the audience at 16.7 metres high. This epic piece creates a drastic contrast with his diminutive maquettes of around 15cms high. These hand sized works in particular have a condensed power, and are invested with an intense consideration of man’s place in and reaction to the new world around him.
Joseph Hillier, digitalrendition, Wednesday-Friday, until 19 May, Royal British Society of Sculptors, 108 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3RA. Hillier will be in conversation on 26 April, 6.30-8.30pm.
For more information, visit www.rbs.org.uk/exhibitions/digitalrendition.
1. Joseph Hillier, In Our Image, 2009. Painted mild steel, height 16.7 Metres. Courtesy of Royal British Society of Sculptors and the artist.