Curated by Maoliosa Boyle
Having emerged on the London Art scene just six years ago Morgan has shot to fame and has quickly become one of the most important and collectable contemporary artists of her time.
Taxidermy is Morgan’s medium, a skill often associated with Victoriana prosperity and the western view of human superiority over animals.
Morgan inverts these connections by disengaging the creatures she uses from their anthropomorphised associations. They are no longer trophies to adorn sumptuous interiors. Morgan gives them new life, a new narrative.
Reminiscent of relics, the works demand veneration. They are not macabre as expected but exquisitely beautiful and precious, preserved in a “Snow-White like” eternal state.
Interestingly, Morgan did not come through formal art school education but studied English at the Queen Mary University of London. A love of animals and the desire to preserve them led her to taxidermy in 2004 where she was instructed by renowned Scottish taxidermist George Jamieson. Since then Morgan has absorbed herself in the art of taxidermy, creating works that are highly sought after and owned by international collectors. Her works are part of Charles Saatchi’s collection and have been purchased by amateur enthusiasts such as Kate Moss and Courtney Love. Morgan has exhibited consistently in high profile galleries such as The White Cube and The Haunch of Venison.
Void is delighted to have eight of Polly Morgan’s works on show spanning from 2006-2010.
All works are courtesy of Polly Morgan, Haunch of Venison and Eyestorm.
The artist builds compositions, which generate their own spatial perception and experience. Creating micro worlds these assemblages present models of nature and place and reflect the complex modelling we use to engage with the world and our ideas of it as “nature” and as “real”‘.
The notion of artist as nomad, collecting cultural artefacts and gathering them together to create an imaginative landscape is an undercurrent in her work. The notion of truth and how it is qualified is a constant quest. Her works and their lightness of touch in her use of materials add to their poetics.
Created neon works have the radiant glow of cheap commodity yet attract with their slick beauty. McCann splices together references from intuition and imagination with memories of natural, urban and cultural landscapes, all evoking complex relationship between representation and the real.
These works stand in a sublime contrast to the ludic piece in Gallery two, titled “This is a bouncy castle, this is not a bouncy castle. This is a bouncy castle, this is not a bouncy castle “ the continual inflation and deflation of the piece ironically mimic’s the famous Magritte painting “C’est ne pas une pipe” that obviated the question of representation in illusion in Art and in semiotics in language.
The rumbustious and playful piece stands in stark contrast to the sublimity of the works in Gallery one, and yet opens further the questions of our modeling of ideas as to the world but also to our ideas as to Art.