Curio: Sites of Wonder
30 Sept – 2 Dec, 2016
Monday – Friday 11:00 – 17:00
The white-cube space of Studio 3 Gallery was been transformed into a dark and strange chamber that brought together newly commissioned artworks and historical objects in a modern Cabinet of Curiosities. Exploring themes of mortality, time, memory, and metamorphosis, artwork and non-art piece worked in balance to create an aesthetic located somewhere between a dusty old museum and a contemporary gallery.
Introducing visitors to the space was Musei Wormiani Historia, a seventeenth century engraving showing the famous cabinet of curiosities of Ole Worm, a Danish physician and antiquarian. As they stepped into the dark green gallery space, visitors were greeted by Victorian taxidermy birds, volcanic dust, and insect specimens on loan from the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, alongside works by artists including Paul Hazleton’s illuminated cabinet of intricate works made from dust, bones, and found objects, Sarah Craske’s biological cabinet of dormant bacteria harvested from the pages of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and three illuminated sculptures encased in resin by Kirsten Baskett. Tessa Farmer’s work was an exquisitely complex depiction of a fantastical battle between insects and fairies constructed entirely from biological specimens. Mair Hughes’ bold lens and landscape drawings with accompanying sculptures interrogated biological and physical science and our own epistemological limits. Bridget Kennedy’s sculpture investigated memory and the development and decay of the now-decommissioned Wylfa Nuclear Power Station in Anglesey, North Wales. The sculptures engineered by Polly Morgan featured taxidermy chicks in a precarious and hazardous scene, showing the fragility of physical life and the balance of existence in visually shocking pieces.
Featured Artists: Kirsten Baskett, Sarah Craske, Tessa Farmer, Paul Hazelton, Mair Hughes, Bridget Kennedy and Polly Morgan.
Image: Mair Hughes, Intra-land, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist