‘Toy’ has been painstakingly created in humble, everyday materials, to make it both clearly hand-made, but replete with an array of detail that brings it to life. This cityscape contains many of the different types of institution we have to negotiate through our lives. There is a school, hospital, workplaces, housing, an airport, abattoir, and military site. Within this microcosmic world, the whole of human life is here. But among the array of buildings, a battle is being fought between two sets of gigantic mythical creatures. On the one side of this conflict are the colossi of capital – the 1%. They tower over ordinary people. Their adversaries are aggregations of people brought together to fight back. The piece is something of a departure for McCail, certainly stylistically if not thematically, and really does have to be seen in the flesh.
Chad McCail: Toy, until 19 April, NGCA at National Glass Centre, Sunderland. northerngalleryforcontemporaryart.co.uk