This week Gary Card presented his first solo exhibition, Abandoned Amusement Park. Housed at east London's Eternal Youth Gallery, the exhibition captures Card’s creativity in its purest form. Exempt from commercial restrictions and client briefs, his imagination was allowed to run free in the form of ghoulish creatures and whimsical crater models; twisted characters and distorted figures which perfectly summarise the signature Card style. "I have been doing this particular technique for years but my job is quite commercial these days, so this was all about going back to my roots creatively," Card explains, "embracing the love of making things. That is what this is about, reminding myself why I do this this entire thing. It is about celebrating the process of making."
Having built a name for himself as the Prop and puppeteer highway man of London, previously Card has worked with Nick Knight, Tim Walker, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Comme des Garçons; he regularly designs costume pieces for Lady Gaga, Nicola Formichetti and multiple editorial platforms, and built a large-scale Christmas tree in 2012 from car engine parts that stood in Kings Cross filling station.
"The exhibition is about celebrating the process of making"
Using 300 rolls of masking tape (fifty per day), his sculptures for his solo show were built over an intense two-week period and were inspired by American cartoonist Basil Wolverton, whose work was the catalyst for Card's twisted collection of mutated characters and plaster shapes. "Away from the fashion industry, everything that I love is either sci-fi or comic-based. I very much adore independent comics, cartoons, Jim Woodring."
Creatures were accompanied by cans of "Fountain of Youth" coconut water, fresh from the Michelberger Hotel, Berlin, acting as bright pops of colour amongst his stark white sculptures. "It is about exposing the workings of everything: the wire, the masking tape the different ways that you can use the plaster. Smashing it, oozing it... it is really just me going mental."
Abandoned Amusement Park Attraction runs until August 21 at Eternal Youth, Dalston.
Text by Mhairi Graham