I'm doing alot of talking this time, comfy with your cuppa tea? A few weeks ago after having just survived yet another horrific bank holiday night out, I went in search of some much needed inspirational brain food. I took a visit to the Extraordinary Measures at Belsay Hall and found myself scurrying way beyond the Slinkachu installations (or swipped installations should I say) before discovering Tessa Farmers outdoor installation - A Darker Shade of Grey.
Having experienced only what I can describe as that 'car crash' effect, I stared in wonder and fascination, feeling it very wrong to do so...we all do it, don't pretend. Although 80% of passing trade did seem to whizz by my 30 minutes of gawping, I just wasn't embarrassed to show my bizarre quizical side in the open, and not behind a car window.
Four glass vented tanks, with composed still lives displayed inside. Curated as a structured battle scene, an‘alliance’ of fairies and grey squirrels’ and other woodland animals including moles, mice and red squirrels. Tessa Farmer works on a minuscule level using small dead creatures to tell a story. This installation also shows dissected and reconstructed abnormal creature combinations and textures making the intricacy even more fascinating. Having never seen anything like this in my life I couldnt help but feel massively inspired by the very true 'extrodinary measures' taken to piece this together.
For me the texture combinations were beautiful; geometric wasp nest structures, bizarre crab claws and boney spikes sticking out from soft fur coats. I found the close up details and patterns stunning rather than the whole objects themselves. Another interesting element was the fact living insects and bugs had become part of the dead still life, making their way in via the cut out holes at the back of the tanks and grated mesh underneath - an ever evolving piece of art, leaving nature to add its beauty.
For my full set of exhibition photos go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/surface-philia/sets/72157624951725094/