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"Earthly Delights"

19th February – 5th March 2018

 

Human desire is central to our experience of the world. Under the spell of love, lust, and desire, we become irrational and impulsive, acting in ways that might seem alien to our character, but are perhaps, as this display revealed, at its very core; a revelation of our true identity.

In the near centenary of the term ‘collage,’ the exhibition aimed to celebrate the concepts and practices behind this ever-growing art form. Showing a diverse range of media, from traditional paper collage, to the exploration of the ideas of collage in graphic design, textile, and paint, this collection celebrated 21st century collage in its diversity and influence on contemporary artists. 

 

As a triptych, Bosch’s painting is intended to be read like a book, from left to right. The exhibition therefore was broadly divided into three sub-themes around Bosch’s narrative of creation, life and downfall. The works explored lust, love, and desire as expansive and creative; as familiar and as threatening. Ultimately, the display encountered the dangers of earthly delights and their inevitable downfall.

 

In order to explore the complexities of this timeless theme, the exhibition featured a wide range of media and styles. Whilst Eleanor Wintour’s photography explores an infamous narrative of Edenic desire, Jack Holland’s collage presents desire in its abstraction and uncertainty. In both, the theme is utilised to encapsulate both past and present. Eleanor Hellis’ mixed-media installation explored oculus rift technology to present inner thought; whilst Gill Alderson appropriated objects of the past to create installations with hidden narratives.

 

At its core, we must acknowledge that Bosch’s painting remains a mystery. Despite various interpretations, including the theory that it represents a warning against lust, it evades overarching conclusions. In the same way, we encouraged you to open yourselves to these works, which convey the complacency, happiness, ease, and complexity that accompany our paradoxical romantic interactions.

 

Participating artists: 

Gill Alderson, Gordon Berger, Simon Crawford, Rosemary Cronin, Eleanor Hellis, Joe Hodgson, Jack Holland, Joy Jindu, Tuli Litvak, Rosanna Martin, Eva Priestley, Genevieve Strong, Anthony Whitfield, and Eleanor Wintour.