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New film works offer portal to the past
The Impossibility Of Living In The Present on Vimeo.

WOLVERHAMPTON.- Two short films by Malvern-based artist Stuart Layton have gone on show at Wolverhampton Art Gallery (29 June – 14 September 2013). The films, The Devils Haircut and The Impossibility of Living in the Present form part of an as-yet incomplete trilogy entitled, You’ll Never Work in this Town Again.

Using found footage, Stuart Layton’s films act as a touchstone to our recent past, incorporating fragments of information and memory such as passing comments and passers-by. His work weaves a narrative which is rich in humour, pathos and nostalgia. Starting on a local and intimate scale, Layton’s films ultimately comes to represent something more profound and global.

The first film, The Devil’s Haircut (2013) (6 minutes 37 seconds), concerns the legend of a local barber, Dave ‘the Butcher of Baghdad’ who, had he not needed to flee his country, may have fulfilled his ambition of becoming a famous ballet dancer. The second film, The Impossibility of Living in the Present (2012) (3 minutes 39 seconds), offers snapshots of characters and pastimes from local working-class communities torn apart by the political context of the 1970s and 1980s.

Curator Jane Morrow commented: “Wolverhampton Art Gallery is committed to exhibiting artwork that reflects both the light and dark tones of popular culture and how we are shaped by our surroundings. Stuart’s films encapsulate this perfectly. We are very pleased to be supporting Stuart, who is a very exciting local artist at an interesting point in his career.”

Stuart Layton graduated from the University of Worcester in 2012, and is due to begin his MA at the Royal College of Art in September this year. In April 2013, Layton was named a runner-up in the award exhibition New Art West Midlands, and received a bursary to create new work for the exhibition.

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