This body of work titled ‘Silk Purse from a Sows Ear’ was exhibited at the Lane Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand in July 2009.
All works are screen-printing and painting on wood panels.
The title of this show comes from the saying ‘you cant make a silk purse from a sows ear’, which is something my grandfather used to say, and alludes to the idea of attempting to make something beautiful from something that is not.
In this series of works I combined my fascination with the grotesque, the weird and the hybrid (drawn from an interest in the engraving techniques in printed works of medieval bestiaries) and my love of the pattern, repetition and texture of antique fabrics and wallpapers. I wished to fill the gallery with decorative ideas of animorphism, laid out as if it were as innocuous a thing as a repeating wallpaper motif. The effect of the repetition of such oddities and curiosities is to generate a “second-glance” interest, whereby the sumptuousness of pattern draws the viewer into a closer examination of subject matter.
I like my work to draw allusions on one level to print metaphors (replica, edition, copy) and at a deeper level to the concepts of mutation. Mutation is the introduction of newness, difference and diversity into a genetic pool – a concept that is often viewed in a negative light and which has lead to the pejorative connotations of the term ‘mutant’. It is this idea of difference that is both societally unacceptable yet culturally fascinating.
Counting your Chickens before, Painting and Screen printing, 1000mm x 1000mm
Ex Familia Muris, 2009 Painting and Screen printing 1000mm x 1000mm
Silk Purse from a Sows Ear II, 2009 Painting and Screen printing 1000mm x 1000mm
Ordo Inconditus Pullus II, 2009 Painting and Screen printing 1000mm x 1000mm
Pullus Morbus, 2009 Painting and Screen printing 1000mm x 1000mm