Still Life
at Buxton Contemporary

Group exhibition curated by Jacqueline Doughty

Artists: Mikala Dwyer, Nicholas Mangan, Angelica Mesiti, Clare Milledge, Vera Möller, James Morrison, Isadora Vaughan, Jahnne Pasco-White, Adele Wilkes, Mulkun Wirrpanda and John Wolseley

Still Life brings together imagination and empirical observation to celebrate the interconnectedness of life.
The exhibition comprises artworks by eleven contemporary artists that explore the complexities
of nature, emphasising interdependence and shifting states of being. These works contrast with teaching objects from the University of Melbourne’s Herbarium collection, a selection of watercolours and papier mâché models representing artistic and scientific traditions, in which natural organisms are depicted in static isolation from their environment.
Many of the artworks in Still Life take as their starting point representational strategies from the natural sciences, such as botanical illustration, macro photography, specimen collection and field recordings. In the artists’ hands these methodologies move beyond the observable world into a realm of abstraction, symbolism and fantasy.
Focusing on symbiotic relationships and interspecies entanglements, the artworks allude to underground mycelial networks that connect forests, giant termite mounds that provide a home for collaborative communities, and microorganisms that inhabit human bodies and are integral to our existence.
The artists in Still Life emphasise the benefits of mutualistic ways of being to our relationship with nature, and as a pathway to a sustainable future.

Photos by Christian Capurro

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