Artist Angela Cockayne and author Philip Hoare collaborate on a filmed performance, using artwork, objects, text, and spoken word. Drawing the overarching symbol and shape of the sperm whale, Dominion will be a multilayered and allusive attempt to come to terms with a shared history between human and whale, between human history and natural history, and the liminal region in between.
Dominion incorporates Cockayne’s chimerical objects, part animal, part sculpture, with Hoare’s physical interaction with sperm whales. Using artwork and text thrown up by this new meeting of art and literature, the result is an aesthetic sermon on the state of the whale and the world, based on Herman Melville’s 1851 classic Moby-Dick. 2009
Talk and Exhibition
Philip Hoare, award-winning author of Leviathan, The Whale and The Sea Inside, sets out to rediscover the sea and its animals. From Southampton to the Azores, Sri Lanka, Tasmania and New Zealand, he travels in search of birds, whales, and the way we humans have interacted with them. Accompanying Philip for this talk is artist Angela Cockayne.
Cockayne uses found objects to create provocative assemblies of discarded bottles and gannets’ wings, human hair and antique rifles and lobster-clawed women. Beautiful and disturbing, they concern the natural world and the human predicament. Her work will be on display at BNSS during the Open Weekend
An Arts Bournemouth event.
Trench Foot, Wax, thorns, lipstick, barbed wire.
The robin is a fiercely territorial bird and fights to defend its territory, here they congregate together in protest against war at the start of their journey to St Pauls Cathedral, London… lest we forget
364 robins cast in wax, gathered in a single, nervous mass. As in Hitchcock’s The Birds, the sense of something yet to happen leaves the viewer with a heightened sense of awareness, a primitive superstition, like a walk under ladders.
We may overlook one robin, a nostalgic seasonal delight, but en masse their presence transforms the space they occupy into an ambiguous and contemplative one.
Cockayne uses her curious mixture of materials with wit and irony. Bird’s beaks are made of thorns, their feet from hair grips and breasts coated with lipstick.
Thematically, the work continues her interest in the poetics of objects and the implication of inherent meaning. She divests objects and images of their conventional meanings, and invites them to address the viewer directly.
Any day now is a work in transit, it can change, it may split, pairs may separate from the flock to find new homes. Or the birds could band together to fly across the ocean to gather in another small town or city.
For now, they are wild, they perch where they don’t belong and we can’t quite read the omen they’ve brought with them. Good fortune, or to augur catastrophe that might never happen, a danger too tenuous to be put into words.