Since each of us was several, there was quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as fartherest away. (Deleuze & Guattari, in the introduction to A Thousand Plateaus, 3)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A visit to 'Curious Colony'

Image from: When I grow up I want to be a forger (2010)
Joan Ross 

On Friday I visited the 'Curious Colony' exhibition now on at the SH Ervin Gallery until February 20. It was a review of this exhibition at the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery (10 July - 29 August 2010) that started me thinking about the Cabinet of Curiosities. I had missed seeing the exhibition in Newcastle but here was the opportunity to see the Newcastle Chest for myself, as well as the rest of the exhibition.
The Chest is fascinating, its contents as curious as should be, not only was I fascinated by
Maria Fernanda Cardoso's leaf insects and leaf butterflies (and they are 'real' although it's taken me awhile to decide that) and it was Lionel Bawden's Bower (2010) of carved sea creatures from coloured Staedtler pencils that I really enjoyed. I've seen Bawder's carved pencils before but they seem most effective within this, a wunderkammer.
And there was much more to see in the exhibition: some exquisite embroideries by Narelle Jubelin, Origins and originality (1998).
This land, its flora, its fauna, its stories hold as great a fascination in the twenty first century as in the nineteenth and this exhibition celebrates this. And yes, there are connections too with this project--Emma Rowden's quilt and Pamela Fitzsimon's work, as well as within and between the postings that make up this blog.

Catalog: "Curious Colony: A twenty first century Wunderkammer" curated by Lisa Slade, published by Newcastle Regional Art Gallery (2010)
Image: downloaded from Sh Ervin Gallery website  

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