2019: House of the Indifferent Fanatic



Here Henry Krokatsis created a gravity-defying structure, suspended in mid-air by opposing forces. The house is at once both levitating serenely and balancing perilously, at a point where the weight and certainty of the past meets the expansive, unknowable future.

The work drew inspiration from Johann Conrad Dippel, a controversial 18th c. German theological charismatic and alchemist (born in Castle Frankenstein), who attempted to dissolve the church and rejected the bible as the true word of God. He was accused of being ‘ein indifferentistischer schwarmer’, an indifferent fanatic.


Henry Krokatsis works with a wide range of materials – smoke, found wood, broken glass, antique mirrors. There seems to be something the works all hold in common though, an attempt to convey an atmosphere, a feeling of something intentionally unspecific, uncanny.

“I want to make objects that oscillate between the destitute and the divine,” Krokatsis states. “For all the interplay of symbolic significance and contingency, for all the layers of meaning that are hinted at, his work is clearly not a conduit for an overlaid narrative; this is not art to make sense of the world – it is an act of faith, it’s art as a spell.”

Krokatsis was born 1965 in London, UK, where he lives and works.


The Blanket was originally commissioned for The Piece Hall in Halifax; an area, like the Scottish Borders, which historically relied on the textile industry for development and employment. Responding to the primary function of The Piece Hall, and building upon a visual language inspired by textiles that has been central to his practice in recent years, Murphy developed his ‘magnified thread’ motif to create The Blanket. Its shallow grid of intersecting steel lines suggests a highly magnified textile weave – a sculptural warp and weft. The open structure is both light and rigid, playing with our expectations around materials, and aligning metal with textiles.


David Murphy’s practice embraces sculpture, drawing and painting. Born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1983, he approaches his work with an instinctive sensitivity for the innate qualities and characteristics of materials, and explores abstract and natural forms. Meticulously executed, his precise yet flowing works combine the geometric with the organic, to achieve a strong impulse of life, growth and energy. Murphy’s sculptures are like drawings in three dimensions: they investigate lines, volume, space and lightness.