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Room of Curiosities

We have worked in our Dyers Bay studio for almost fifteen years and during that time have acquired many objects that now find a home somewhere within that space.  The walls of the studio carry large pieces of limestone to which have been applied various natural and man-made materials over the years.  Right now, they serve as backdrop for a collection of fossils presented on wooden spoons.  Interspersed with these items are natural materials that we have collected including cedar roots and branches as well as thistles, mullein and teasel.  All in all, the space we have created is a testament to the great variety of material influences that inspire us at Dyers Bay.

This year we decided to do some plaster casting.  Having accumulated a number of possible moulds like plastic and cardboard containers, buckets and bowls we set about to create a multitude of shapes that could then be combined in sculpture and shown on the work table that is central to our artistic practices.  The grandchildren had left behind a sand mould shaped like a dinosaur of some description.  It too was used for plaster casting and quickly became a core component of the final composition. Cast dinosaur bones were perfect for the job we were undertaking since they were part and parcel of the earliest days on the planet and historically akin to the many fossils we have found and collected on the Peninsula.  Colour, in the addition of paints and inks was introduced partly as an experiment and partly because it was at odds with the natural forms and colours we were already surrounded with.  The final combination of chromatic castings and rock, birchbark etc. was a little surreal but light-hearted in keeping with the goals of the project itself.  

In short, this endeavour was a lot of fun and the work came together in ways we had not imagined.  To us, it is the perfect installation because it represents how art making should happen  --  spontaneously and joyously.  We particularly like the fact that the studio now resembles a contemporary 'wunder kammer', or cabinet of curiosities.  We hope that viewers enjoy it as much as we loved putting it together.  Michael and Delwyn  

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