Tessa Farmer. (2015) The Colony.
Wormshell colony, crab claws, mummified birds, taxidermy thrush, wasp nest, dried frog, bat and lizard, bones, coral, insects and plant roots.
This piece nestled amongst bushes and small trees just off the track under a perspex dome. A collection of natural objects that don’t quite ‘look right’ at second glance. Crab claws grow out of the wasp nest like ugly plants, dead birds scavenge for insects. Butterflies glimmer in the sunshine and then you realise that the fairies are constructed from dead flies and make the scene even more macabre.
I loved that the fairies were not pretty, pretty but rather sinister, intricate and hard to find; a magnifying glass was left so you could spot them. As I was examining the piece with Rob, a lady came up with a small wriggly dog so I offered to hold it so that she could look at the work herself. We had such a lovely chat about what was going on under the dome, discovering other animals lurking that were missed at an initial glance. For me, I felt it enhanced the visit to talk with strangers about what we were viewing, to share the moment and explore another world together, even if only for a few minutes.
It was also a brilliant opportunity for families to get outside on a Sunday morning and do something different together. For children to look for numbers and run around the sculptures, and parents to share a relaxed hour or so not worrying if the kids were going to knock something over and break it. To be out in the fresh air, enjoying nature and art and no iPad in sight!
I would like to explore further how to bring art outside the gallery space into the ‘real world’, where it is more easily accessible to a wider section of our communities. To discover if art is important to us as human beings, how I can play a part in making art more accessible to a wider audience.
Photos: Brown, 2015.