Francis Upritchard creates sculptural installations in which human figures, painted in bright colours, inhabit a world replete with found objects and everyday items, modified to meet their needs. The inhabitants and their objects are shown on specially produced or found pieces of furniture. Paying as much attention to the furniture, to its careful refurbishment as to the figures themselves, her work gives equal weight to art, craft, and display: the design and staging within the exhibition space is an integral part of the work.
Upritchard suspends the usual attributions of value to specific materials and contexts; her figures, whose age, cultural origin and hierarchy is unclear, question the viewer’s perceptions and preconceptions about worth. Her arrangements form artificial universes in which the figures embody the human condition in all its diversity—appearing introverted, cheerful, miserable, or uncomfortable. Upritchard cleverly perverts the usual view of products of human civilization by transforming everyday items from Western culture into instruments of cult ritual for fictitious archaic peoples, with badminton rackets as scepters and industrial imitations of Victorian vases as urns.