Evermore presents new work by Banks resulting from his ongoing interest in horror actor and sculptor Churton Fairman. Churton Fairman (AKA Mike Raven, 1924-1997) began his career as a ballet dancer and ballet photographer, then shifted to be a pioneer of blues music on pirate radio (Atlanta, Radio King and390) where he adopted the alias 'Mike Raven'. As a horror film actor he appear in several horror films including Crucible of Terror (1971) and Discipline of Death (1972), he also featured in 'I Monster' alongside Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. The starting point for Banks is archival footage from an unfinished documentary about Fairman's later life as a sheep farmer and sculptor on Bodmin Moor.
Banks' new video works focus on a series of small carved wooden sculptures made by Fairman. Banks has chosen to rework film rushes of the sculptures, which depict biblical scenes, or characters that Fairman uses as a metaphor for his ideas about sexuality and faith. In these works, Banks presents multiple layers of appropriation. The sculptor transforms the material of wood through carving until it becomes an art object. It is then documented on film, before being re-edited by Banks into a new filmic sculpture. Taking his cue from feature film and radio, Banks has experimented with film techniques that enable new configurations of the sculpture. In one film a foreshortened camera shot known as the 'dolly shot' commonly used to create suspense, shifts the perspective of the object in relation to its surroundings. In another work a pirouette echoes Fairman's early desire to become a dancer. The jump-cut, abruptly introduces a new seemingly unrelated image. Another film uses sound to dictate the movement of the object.
Through this process the distinction between subject and object, author and artist, sculptor and filmmaker are merged. Banks' works project aspects of Fairman's complex and multifaceted history onto his sculpted objects. This has the effect of layering different moments of time through different themes and materials. By reanimating documentary footage of the sculptures, Banks transforms the carvings into unformed objects characterized by formal effects from throughout Fairman's life: balletic gestures, sound from radio and effects from horror film. Although a generation apart, Banks and Fairman have a shared interest in sculpture, horror film and music. Although in the conventional biography these interests appear as distinct categories, Banks has tried to bring them together formally. By subjecting Fairman to the constraints of contemporary art, Banks is reframing the sculpture within a current discourse. The work has both a historical and contemporary significance.