10 – 27 June 2015: The Beast Beside Us

GALLERY 1, 2 + 3:

 

FEATURING: Aly Aitken, Tomboy Bill, Dean Colls, Sarah Gully, Helen Kocis Edwards, Emma Morgan, Siobhan McMahon, Christian Pearson and Kim Wall

Domesticated, wild, real or imagined animals have appeared in art for centuries. In the Beast Beside Us red gallery brings together nine artists who celebrate this tradition.

Christian Pearson’s Tagged series features animals with identification tags, questioning how wild and free these species really are under the watchful eye of conservation initiatives. Dean Colls’ large installation draws our attention to the ocean, a fragile ecosystem imbued with its own mythology borne from the long history of maritime exploration.

In her soft depiction of bears, lions and wolves Emma Morgan hopes to highlight their regal and mystical nature, removing the stigma of ‘ruthless man-eaters’ so often associated with wild beasts. Helen Kocis Edwards’s anthropomorphic prints of exotic animals engaged in a wild party inject a sense of humour into this theme.

Sarah Gully and Siobhan McMahon embrace the rich history of animals and human engagement with the natural world found in storybooks, folklore and mythological tales.

In a different approach TomboyBill examines the inner beast that we all struggle to tame while Kim Wall’s collages and Aly Aitken’s otherworldly sculptures transport us to a dreamland of imagined beasts.