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The Miniature Wolds Show at Jerwood Space
Liz Dawson, Fountain, 2006, Oil on board, 55 x 70 cm.


LONDON, ENGLAND.- Jerwood Space presents The Miniature Wolds Show, on view through September 9, 2006. Artists: Tessa Farmer, Liz Dawson, Adam Humphries, Paul Collinson, and Michael Whittle. The exhibition was curated by Andrea Gregson and Laura Youngson Coll. The Miniature Worlds Show showcases the work of seven artists dealing with notions of the miniature. Much of the work embodies metamorphosis; the reconstitution of natural and man-made environments into imaginary hybrid worlds. A range of media and scale are employed to realize a plethora of realities, in which the viewer becomes the voyeur or unwitting participant. Places from every day life become a world of recycled aspiration, fears and voyeurism. The work allows the viewer to leave the greater sensory world and visually enter an imaginary space; these strangely familiar environments relate to the highly individualistic world of contemporary western life.

All of the artists have developed a making process which relates to a range of other practices including model-making, technical drawing, carving, horticulture, taxidermy and museology. The attention to detail provokes a sense of wonder. Reminiscent of a cabinet of curiosities, the artists in this show experiment with scale and origin to present another version of the world. The physical process of working with the miniature belies the non-sensual world, and reveals the artificial and often disturbing structures in which we live.

Liz Dawson’s paintings create a place in which everyday life and imagination merge into hybrid spaces. The work is derived from an amalgamation of small-scale models, constructed by the artist, and escapist, idealistic images found in brochures and magazines. Paul Collinson’s paintings are similarly derived from models, and evoke the world of hobbyist model making. However, he depicts scenes that contradict this idealized world by creating ambiguous events reminiscent of a car crash, or willful acts of vandalism. Andrea Gregson’s miniature installations, hidden inside long wooden boxes on stilts, contain sumptuous psychological spaces where events can be imagined and re-enacted by the viewer. For this show, La Grotto Grande, Boboli Park, Florence, becomes a romantic cave cut from many layers of paper. Andrea’s second piece conveys miniature medical type vessels which are placed in a white upholstered corridor, juxtaposing the sinister with the seductive.

Adam Humphries’ installations and prints resemble an ‘uncanny cosmic event’. We can physically inhabit his installations becoming ‘a player amongst a host of ambiguous and arbitrary objects’. A gigantic spray of blossom carved from polystyrene touches the rafters of the gallery, and is surrounded by debris of conflicting scales, from plant forms to nails. Emphasis is placed on the things that exist on the fringes of our environment, demonstrating our own ‘miniature’ insignificance. Tessa Farmer describes her work as ‘a tool to realize imaginative possibilities that might otherwise linger unseen, just beneath the surface’. In the show, a preserved hedgehog is the victim, infested with minute evil fairies created from plant roots, which owe their scale to the insect wings which sprout from their backs.

Tessa presents herself as the conjuror rather than the maker of these ‘creatures’, examining their behavior and evolution.

Laura Youngson Coll creates installation or environments which mimic the natural world, and our desire to dominate it. Human mimicry of nature, and the artifice in which this results, is one of the main concerns of the work. Evolution and ecosystems are confused, yet have sufficient reference to the familiar to disarm us. Tessa Farmer and Laura Youngson Coll will be collaborating on a piece of animation combining the flora and fauna which inhabit their respective worlds. Michael Whittle creates intricate drawings in an attempt not only to personally ‘make sense of reality', but also to 'explore man’s attempt to come to terms with existence, be it using emblems of religious iconography, scientific investigation or personal reference. Michael will create an elaborate wall drawing for the show.





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