Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Think inside the box

Work in progress: Some photos taken as I filmed the footage for my film Think Inside the Box, exhibited 14-16th October. Made In Roath 2011.
These black and White images taken by Jack Smylie Wild, April 2011.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Thread and Sinew

Drawings of found objects- an autumn seed ball hanging by its sinuous thread, and an old wooden reel of black thread which I found has a thousand ends having been chewed by a dog. Different types of thread drawn together.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Perfect Imitation

Blaschka glass model, national Museum of Wales

This weekend I visited the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. Having grown up in Cardiff I have been there countless times; tearing around the permanent natural history collections, wondering the maze of fibreglass rocks and dinosaurs, trekking through primordial forests and searching for the illusive leatherback turtle, in a room I could never find.    

Blaschka glass model, national Museum of Wales

In recent years I have looked with more awe than ever at the incredible beauty and complexity of the natural exhibits, but I had never given much thought to the models and replicas which set the scene.There can be no comparison between nature and the hard, hollow imitations of life which jog the imagination. In my own work, I have struggled with the notion that nothing can be more perfect than nature, and that to imitate it is invariably to fail. However the replicas in the museum serve a different purpose.They exist to tell us objectively about the world around us.
In the 1860s, highly skilled glass-worker Leopold Blaschka was commissioned to replicate soft bodied marine animals because it was difficult to preserve their colour, form and texture. Upon finding Blaschka's glass models I fond that I could not look upon them as planktonic organism, only as incredibly beautiful hand crafted objects- perfect scupltures. There is a different sense of wonder as I find myself saying, "how did they do it?", "Look at those tiny joins and little metal stitches". In their design they seem too modern for the time they were made, until I remember the blueprint came from the ocean.  Among the collections of pinned butterflies and beetles this is another kind of treasure.

Blaschka glass model, national Museum of Wales