Daphne Wright - Emotional Archaeology - GALLERY 1
Bristol, Arnolfini, 6th October 2016.
I visited this exhibition in my University Campus for inspiration, pure interest and finally; to tick the box of visiting an exhibition in my new home town, Bristol. I was extremely interested and fond of the aesthetics of each art piece created by Daphne; each exposing different emotional traits furthermore, political statements. Her work normally entails the topics of class, aspiration, faith, parenthood, ageing and care.
I had walked past the making of the exhibition for many weeks however, all I could see was a white gallery space, with multiple cloths over the art pieces; This had no meaning then, but now the art pieces have been shown I feel I have a background experience no one else had. Each day I went into university, I saw this white room with the covered art pieces; it reminded me of one thing, this was the white cloth that would be waved to symbolise capitulation, a trait of giving up. For example, in the war when the soldier had no more options but give himself in, or the towel being thrown into the ring in a boxing match. I learnt later on that the casting of the animals took place when they had either died or been used in scientific research. This support my thoughts. Some may argue her methods are wrong yet, I personally feel this is an interesting way to use resources, study the specimens and furthermore, share with the world a ‘up, close and personally’ relationship with each creature, especially as they are probably identical with the real animal.
Stallion, Marble dust, Resin, 2009.- ‘’The dominant work in the room is Stallion, a full- size partially- ayed death mask, which combines the majesty of a powerful heroic animal with the tragedy be tting a great historical gure. Upturned and struggling at our feet, we have stumbled upon a defeated beast that has lost a battle yet retains its anatomical grandeur. We would normally nd sculptures such as this standing grandly on top of a plinth, but Wright’s presentation of this fallen animal makes us question what happened to this creature.’’
Primate, Marble dust, Resin, 2009 - “Primate lies as an outsider in this room. This is an animal associated with the zoo, the jungle and the laboratory; it doesn’t share the same art historical references as the other sculptures. The rhesus monkey in this work was used in animal research before being put to sleep, and was cast by the artist after a long process of negotiation. More than any other work, this gure highlights the di icult and con icted relationship mankind has with animals. The delicate handstitched pelt of the monkey, a collaboration with embroiderer Janet Haigh, references the practice, originating in Byzantine art, of making decorative covers to protect icons.”
Swan, Marble dust, Resin, 2007- Swan refers to the fallen young male which is found in the Greek myth ‘Leda and the Swan’, as well as the 1923 WB Yeats poem of the same title.
Lamb, Marble dust, Resin, 2006. - no description.
Markers, Water colour on paper, 2009. - no description.