Frame Break 2016
A machine is an object that reduces the need for a human hand; throughout history, new technology has brought a threat to the working man’s livelihood. Frame Break loosely takes its form from that of a loom, and like much of Jack West’s work, the relationship between man and machine is the central theme. The title comes from The Frame Breaking Act that was passed by Parliament in 1812 in the wake of the Luddite revolts in northern England when a large number of industrial looms were destroyed in protest at mechanisation.
The loom has been central to the social and economic development of Spitalfields and, in particular, references the Huguenot weavers – 16th century refugees who, having fled religious persecution in France, migrated to England and settled and prospered in the area. Frame Break takes on the appearance of having once performed a specific function but now stands broken and unresolved. It questions ideas of work, purpose and the perceived threat of ‘the other’ that new technology, people or changing ideas can elicit.
Jack West lives and works in London and is a recent MFA graduate from the UCL Slade School of Fine Art, London. He was selected for the Liverpool and London Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016 exhibition and was winner of the 2016 Kenneth Armitage Young Sculptor prize.