Laura Ford: Armour Boys

RSA Gallery 9


Armour Boys is a new solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed sculptor Laura Ford. The culmination of her Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW) Residency in 2004, Armour Boys developed from her interest in the armoury displays at nearby Fyvie Castle and through preoccupations of past projects such as ‘Wreckers’. This new production by one of Britain’s most exciting contemporary artists, will be accessible to a local, national and international audience during the Edinburgh Art Festival in 2006.


Five small bronze, armour clad figures lie scattered, lifeless. Their limp, twisted bodies have been violently thrown about, discarded and forgotten. A far cry from the traditional suits of armours in museums and grand halls they challenge concepts associated with warfare. Although at pains to limit the narrative of her work, Armour Boys are hugely empathetic works and it is their very humaneness which draws on the viewer’s involvement on so many levels. Children’s war games become all too real reinforcing the plight of child soldiers and more than that the vulnerability of all children around the world, made even more poignant by the current wars in the Middle East.


Laura Ford says of her new project ‘It is hard to believe that the soldier striding forward, engaged in battle, full of adrenalin, when struck down, can become so quiet, so without life, so still. Armour Boys are not only about our tendency to violence but also our sense of invulnerability which is instantly and shockingly reversed in the presence of death.’


There will be a full colour publication as well as a range of screenings, workshops, talks and events for all ages on the theme of children at war. In association with Amnesty International, City of Edinburgh, National Museum of Childhood, Filmhouse the Scottish Sculpture Workshop. This exhibition is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Henry Moore Foundation and the Scottish Arts Council. Laura Ford is represented by Houldsworth, London. For more information on Laura please visit


Events Programme

Armour Boys in context: Now and Then
Adult study event
Saturday 12 August, 2 – 4 pm, RSA Library
An event putting these new artworks in context, featuring an artist’s talk by Laura Ford, a presentation from Glasgow Museum’s Curator of Arms and Armour, Toby Capwell on the history and techniques involved in Child Armour and an insight into how the artwork was made and commissioned by Scottish Sculpture Workshop staff Hilary Nicoll and Eden Jolly.


Primary School Workshop
21 – 22 August
A multi-arts workshop involving local Preston Street Primary School, including sessions at both the RSA and the Museum of Childhood exhibitions, a drama workshop and a casting workshop at the school, led by artists Julia Douglas and Clare Waddle and Frances Baker, Primary Drama Specialist with Arts and Learning, City of Edinburgh Council. This will result in an exhibition by the pupils in the RSA library from Thursday 24th August to the end of the ‘Armour Boys’ on 10 September 06.


Emanuel Jal / Lost Children film event – The Filmhouse, Edinburgh
Friday 1 September, 9 pm
Open to all ages 16+
£5.90/ £4.30 concessions.

Films tackling the issue of child soldiers in Uganda, short ‘Rebels without a Cause’ and documentary ‘Lost Children’ are accompanied by talk from “rising star of African hip-hop” (The Guardian) Sudanese/ Kenyan rapper and former child soldier Emanuel Jal, fresh from Live8 and the Newcastle Sage. Followed by public performance by Emanuel Jal in Filmhouse Cafe Bar.