Kirstin Anderson - Diploma in Ceramics Graduation Exhibition

20 November - 13 December 2020

A Taxonomy

The underlying idea for this work is thinking about loss and extinction. How I might look back and remember the pulchritude of objects sought and collected from fascinating places. Objects that are the ecological canary in the coalmine. How will we recognise future beauty?

I am interested in the tension and exchange between science and art.

The work appears as a Victorian amateur scholar collection of scientific specimens of natural curiosities, recognisable but slightly subverted objects of sea organisms. They are presented as an ethno-curated assortment, an attempt to appear in a natural formation. They are wrought to the limit of the material to the point of extreme fragility as if they are coping with conditions at their limit of survival. There is delicacy and disintegration visible in some pieces. The objects are hand rendered in porcelain taking the clay to its limit of coping as does the extreme firing temperature. Systems at the brink of coping/collapse. Like Mark Dion, I am fascinated by the “idea of the collection and by the peculiar and wonderful taxonomies of objects and their display” which is seen in Wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities. Objects and fragments highlight the wonder and fragility of life on earth. Visual repetition appeals to me. I like to introduce randomness into this repetition in the same way it occurs in nature in order to break the relentless rhythm of ‘the same’. The room represents a museum space in lighting and sound. The viewer encounters the objects on a waist high table (or solid plinth) with a wire frame or glass cabinet to represent a museum vitrine, as if they were visiting a display at a Victorian world fair.