Born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1961 / Lives and works in London, England
Laura Ford’s child-sized Penguins
appear both comical in their plimsolls and vaguely unsettling, like characters from an enchanting yet disturbing fairy tale. Her installation, which she has described as sculptures dressed as people who are dressed as animals, indeed conveys something ominous: the species of penguins threatened or endangered because of climate change and food shortages. Yet the endearing aspects of Ford’s Penguins
echo those that make the birds popular with humans worldwide, subtly calling attention to conservationists’ belief that our affection for penguins may be a catalyst for increased global efforts to save our environment. Viewed within this context, the penguins appear confused, uprooted from their ever-decreasing native habitat, and flocking together for security within the alien confines of the gallery.
Portrait photo by Gautier Deblonde/Baku Magazine/Conde Nast