"Some people appear to move and act as if they were completely at ease in the world.

I have always felt ill at ease; my body fitting as awkwardly as my clothes, the spaces

in which I move just that little too empty or too full, the air too hot or too cold.

Some people seem to have confidence, others are always uncertain, constantly

attempting to find their own space in the world - questioning their very identity.

Things are never what they appear to be."  (1975)

Carl Plackman's work consists of sculpture, drawings, installations and sometimes photographs. In many cases the work is an attempt to examine how people communicate with each other and how objects often get in the way. The work appears to use real objects but more often than not these have been completely remade in a different material that become a decoy or a sham. The work often grew out of his interest in literature, cinema and the origins of language but he also became concerned with the subversiveness of the silent still image.

Carl’s later work focuses on two particular interests.  One involves aspects of human intimacy (i.e. kissing heads) which have been assimilated from the media and the different power relationships these images can represent. The other interest is his concern with aspects of human nature, desires or passions which have been civilised or controlled. In order to explore this Carl used images of various animals such as the dog, the ostrich, and the giraffe in an attempt to find metaphors for the human condition.


1943 - 2004