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The Toy Box - Confirmed Artists

29 JUL – 23 SEP 2017

10am - 5pm (Tuesday - Saturday)


The Toy Box: From Pop to Present is a new exhibition, exclusive to The Gallery@ The Civic, exploring the use of toys in the world of contemporary art and design. By using British Pop Art of the 1950s and 1960s as a starting point and the movements it inspired, the exhibition will showcase paintings, prints and sculpture from around the world.

The Toy Box also takes a look at how toys have inspired the world of design, including furniture, fashion and even artist design collectable toys, such as Urban Vinyl.

The exhibition will feature internationally renowned names such as Eduardo Paolozzi, KAWS, Jason Freeny, Jimmy Cauty, Glennray Tutor and Ron English, alongside the best of British contemporary artists and designers, including Sarah Graham, Joe Simpson, Wayne Chisnall and fashion designers Fyodor Golan. The Civic also welcomes new contributions from local names such as Julie Newton from Barnsley and Fabric Lenny from Holmfirth.

Some of the artists and designers include:



On loan from Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a selection of eight prints from Eduardo Paolozzi’s General Dynamic F.U.N., fifty screen-prints and photolithographs created between 1965 and 1970, and Moonstrips Empire News, a portfolio of 100 print releases in 1967. These vibrant images by the self-styled ‘wizard in Toytown’, juxtapose familiar faces of consumer advertising, high fashion with Hollywood of the 1960s.



Also on loan from Yorkshire Sculpture Park is Companion Resting Place by KAWS, the acclaimed Pop Art and designer who exhibited his monumental sculptures in Yorkshire Sculpture Park last year. KAWS’ Companion, a grey-scale clown-like figures, sits reclined and dissected, showing the inner workings of the artist’s creation.



The Skateroom’s is an organisation whose main purpose is to help empower youth using art and skateboarding, through partnerships with organisations such as that with the non-profit organisation Skateistan, and their exclusive artist collaborations. They have previously worked with Ai Weiwei, Shepard Fairey, the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, and have just released the “Kateboard” with Grayson Perry at the Serpentine Galleries.

On display in The Toy Box will be a collection of 10 skateboards featuring selected works from Paul McCarthy’s famous 1991 series of photographs, PROPO. It was through the sale of this collection that The Skateroom financed the building of Skateistan’s first facility in Johannesburg, South Africa.



An American artist specializing in sculpture, designer toys and computer-generated imagery. He is best known for his anatomical art, where he produces cutaway drawings of (typically toy) inanimate objects such as a Lego man, Barbie doll, the animated fish Nemo or a balloon art dog.



Better known as one half of as one half of the duo The KLF, co-founder of The Orb and as the man who burnt one million pounds, Cauty is also a prominent activist and artist, known for his anti-establishment message. His Riot in a Jam Jar sculptures are constructed by modifying components of traditional model railway kits and are inspired by 2010 student protests.



A British Pop-Photorealist painter, known for her oil paintings of toys and sweets. She was commissioned to paint the cover for Kaiser Chiefs’ album Souvenir and has been reference in the GCSE art exam paper, opening up her work to a whole new audience. Exhibited for the first time will be two new toy themed oil paintings.  



Established in 2011 by Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman, the fashion label won the Fashion Fringe Award in 2011. They are known for their playful and experimental designs using bold colours and while each collection is completely different from the last, they are always instantly, recognisably theirs. They have previously collaborated Transformers and most recently PowerpuffGirls, but for this exhibition, we will be showing their collaboration with My Little Pony.



Freya Jobbins in an Australian based assemblage sculptor and printmaker. Freya’s assemblages, like the unusual portraits of the Milanese painter Guiseppe Arcimboldo with a hint of the Toy Story Trilogy;  she creates humanoid busts and portraits using a very non-traditional material, discarded children’s toys. An artistic exploration, of the relationship between consumerism and the culture of up-cycling and recycling.



Laura Keeble is a British artist, who uses interventionist and subversive strategies to create pauses in perception and question societal norms. She quickly gained notoriety in 2007 with a parody of Damien Hirst's work For the love of God in which she created a replica of this artwork using a plastic medical model skull with 6522 Swarovski crystals, and left discarded with a pile of rubbish bags outside the White Cube gallery the day after Hirsts' exhibition had closed. Her installation work has appeared in Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Street Art.


With over 50 works exhibited, the total list of exhibiting artists and designers is as follows:

Eduardo Paolozzi, Glennray Tutor, Sarah Graham, Joe Simpson, Jimmy Cauty, Wayne Chisnall, Freya Jobbins, Laura Keeble, Fyodor Golan, Anne-Sophie Cochevelou, Anthony Lycett, Ron English, Jason Freeny, Whatshisname, Sauce Studios, KAWS, The Skateroom & Paul McCarthy, Fabric Lenny, Julie Newton, Mighty Jaxx, ToyQube and Designbytouch.

If you would like to book a group visit, please contact The Gallery@ The Civic on 01226 327011.