Daniel Silver’s highly charged installation Heads constitutes dozens of carved heads made in Zimbabwe. Collaborating with local craftsmen, the lustre of highly polished heads made from black springstone and bottlegreen soapstone creates a moving landscape of semi-recognisable figures.
Silver has a playful and experimental approach to using different materials. He is a traditionalist with a refreshing take on the world’s current affairs. The starting point for his ‘portraits’, were photographs of inmates condemned to Death Row in the USA. Silver revisits the use of the portrait bust; in the 18th- and 19th-centuries these were chiefly of prominent, mostly heroic figures.
'The idea of having a date to die, and of execution, suited my purpose. There is the idea that I don't know when a sculpture will end. These people know when their lives will end - they have a date. The mugshots were very sculptural. I had a profile and I had a front image. That was great for me for making sculpture'. Daniel Silver
Heads was commissioned by Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and supported by Arts Council England: North East; the work resulted from a residency at the University of Sunderland supported by The Henry Moore Foundation.