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UAL Research Online

The Lion and the Unicorn

Cross, David and Cornford, Matthew (2008) The Lion and the Unicorn. [Show/Exhibition]

Type of Research: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Cross, David and Cornford, Matthew

Site-specific installation for solo exhibition. Maximum safe load (14000kg) of coal laid on gallery floor and a curated exhibition of paintings from the museum collection.

Other Contributors:
CuratorPryor, Kate
Additional Information (Publicly available):

David Cross

Research Interests

Contemporary Fine Art, Photography, Site-specific installation, Sustainable development, Urban regeneration


David Cross began collaborating with Matthew Cornford while studying at St Martin's School of Art in 1987, and graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1991. Cornford & Cross have produced installations for City Limits, Stoke on Trent; EAST International, Norwich; 'In the Midst of Things', Bournville; ISEA 98, Liverpool; Tra Monti, Rome and 'Values', Pancevo, Serbia.

Their work has been exhibited at Basekamp Gallery, Philadelphia, the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, Marcel Sitcoske Gallery, San Francisco, Nikolai Fine Art, New York City, Nothern Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sunderland, and in London at Camden Arts Centre, the ICA, Nylon Gallery, the Photographers' Gallery and the South London Gallery. One of their recent projects, 'Childhood's End' was produced by Film and Video Umbrella and purchased by the Contemporary Arts Society, and showcased in a solo at the Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art in Sunderland in 2005.

Artist Statement: Cornford & Cross

"The form of our projects may develop, but we keep intact their core propositions, which exist most clearly in language. If a proposal is approved, then the text serves as the basis of an agreement or contract of sorts. If a project remains unrealized, then the proposal stands. Throughout, the texts 'anchor' some of the possible meanings contained within a work, as well as 'relay' meanings from the surrounding context. This method of counter-pointing different aspects of a situation partly reflects our own differences in opinion.

As our early installations were grounded in one place, we thought they were 'site-specific'. But as each project developed through a series of encounters, actions and debates, we found ourselves responding not just to physical sites, but also to social situations and historical moments.

Because most of our works have been temporary, and made in specific locations, more people encounter them through reproduction than through first hand experience. Photography is central to our practice, we plan our projects in terms of their photographic possibilities, document the work in progress, and stage summarising shots of each completed work.
Although we wouldn't describe our photographs simply as 'documents', we do trade with the notion of an indexical relationship between the image and lived experience.

Our interventions often disrupt everyday life, so realising them calls for close interaction with the organisations and people who occupy places and influence events. We often need expert help and advice, and have worked with skilled people from disciplines including architecture, aviation, filmmaking, software engineering, and town planning. All our projects have encountered obstacles, which were only overcome with the flexibility shown by people prepared to take risks, go beyond conventional interpretations of their roles, and become active participants."

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RPE
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Date: 8 November 2008
Related Websites: www.cornfordandcross.com/projects/2008/unicorn
Related Websites:
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Wolverhampton Art Gallery, England8 November 200831 January 2009
Material/Media: Coal
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2010 13:59
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2013 09:47
Item ID: 2356
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/2356

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