School of Art
Order & Chaos3 April – 12 May 2006
Order & Chaos is the culmination of Kate Hammersley’s work as Artist-in-Residence at the Booth Museum. Over a number of months she carried out research and made drawings of some of the more unusual objects in the collection, including a white reindeer and a mountain lion. Order & Chaos is inspired by Edward Booth’s internationally pioneering work on museum display. Booth was the first person to display birds in recreated environments with painted backdrops known as dioramas.
Kate, who is a former under- and postgraduate student of UWA School of Art and now a Fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors, has been producing larger than life charcoal drawings from specimens in the collection. The Space drawings feature sea urchins, whilst other drawings focus on translating the texture of an animals fur or a butterfly’s wing. In other words, they are a search for the essence of things.
Elsewhere, works in porcelain such as Lightening Strike – Three Forms look at how a museum object can be a relic of an event and tell a story. In Lightening Strike – Three Forms fragments of a tree struck by lightening have been wrapped in fabric soaked in porcelain so that when the object is fired in a kiln the tree fragment burns away and we are left with the porcelain shell. Kate says: ‘The process of making and the manipulation of space is an important part of my work, which aims to explore the boundaries of drawing and sculpture, the natural and the contrived, art and science’. The pieces are juxtaposed with intriguing glimpses of rarely seen objects from the Booth collection.
Family, looks at how animal species are classified by Scientists and Curators. This collection of objects relates to the Cervidae or Deer family of animals. It contains objects from the collection as well as objects made by the artist. Finally, the text piece SHHH, features drawings of the cotton wool plant on porcelain. It attempts to raise the status of museum label to that of artefact in its own right, playing on the stillness of the museum and the quietness of the exhibits.
This exhibition is supported by the Arts Council of England.