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Jonathan Trayte (b. 1980)

Trayte’s painted bronze sculptures and aluminium cut-outs feature imagery that resembles food, confectionary and natural forms. In thinking of food as a basic material, he uses castings and facsimiles to examine the many ways in which we perceive and utilise our resources. From the ruthless efficiencies of modern agri-business to the chill chains and hypermarkets of our distribution networks, Trayte’s work explores cultivation and consumption.

This approach to making sculpture has been largely informed by the vocabulary of colour used in food display and packaging and specifically on the science of perception and how it is used in industry to manipulate consumer decision-making. By incorporating diverse influences from glossy synthetic surfaces, product advertising and the interbreeding of seeds to industrialised processes like aquaculture or agro-plantations, he attempts to form a discourse that explores our innovative abilities to manage and manipulate both the built and natural world.

Contrasting materials such as vinyl, ceramic, concrete, bronze, aluminium, iron, steel, fabrics, resins, PU foams and pigmented rubbers are combined and homogenized as a means of describing this language and responding to our complex systems. Once cast in bronze, cut in aluminium or fabricated in steel, Trayte’s work is often covered in meticulously painted layers. The synthetic ‘skins’ give the work a chameleon appearance and pop status that is at times, seductive and alluring. These flamboyant facsimiles are like synthetic fruits of the world, voluptuous, supine, candied and highly polished. They stand magnificently both as aesthetic objects and as elevated representations of our burgeoning consumer culture.


Born: 1980 in Huddersfield, England, United Kingdom

RA Schools student from 2007 to 2010

Gender: Male

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