The title of the show comes from from the collective noun for ships and industrial vehicles. The exhibition is a large group of small sculpture - three dimensional plans for as-yet-unconstructed machines. These maquettes illustrate complex hybrids of the land-marking machinery for which Capper has become known - operational, vehicular machines Ripper (2009) and TreadToe (2010) have marked the land in patterns traced out by the machines as they traverse them. Here, this central idea is expanded to include the idea of structures for offshore exploration.
The show also includes Ripper Teeth, the scoring tools attached to the underside of plant machinary to mark the earth, making massive drawings in the ground. The utilitarian impulse that underlies the works dictates that they are practical, that they work. The aesthetic appeal of these objects is commensurate with our appreciation of their ingenuity and their consequent fitness for purpose. These works are, like the best pieces of mechanical engineering, beautiful precisely because they function. Capper's considerable abilities as a colourist and draughtsman are complementary to this principle.
James Capper (born in UK, 1987) lives and works in South London. Recent solo exhibitions include Modern Art Oxford (2011). Group exhibitions include A Skeleton in the Closet, Heidelberger Kunstverein-Ausser Haus & ReMap3, Athens (2011) & Let There Be Sculpture!, New Art Centre, Roche Court (2010). He won the Jack Goldhill Prize for Sculpture at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2009 and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in the same year.