For the feral splendour


29 January – 6 March 2022

Time

11.00AM – 4.00PM

Exhibition preview: Friday 28 January, 6pm (artist talk at 5pm)
Exhibition runs: 29 January – 6 March 2022
Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday: 11am – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday: 11am – 4pm and closed on Mondays and public holidays

Venue: The Physics Room

‘For the feral splendour’ suggests the motivation for doing something: making a sacrifice, stating an intention, offering a justification. It’s an incantation, or the response to a strange question. In this exhibition works by Owen Connors, Laura Duffy, and Aliyah Winter engage with ideas about that which is natural, unnatural, supernatural, and the transformative potential of queer narratives that connect these things. The project is informed by thinking about mysticism, healing, and stories which are at once fear-inducing and liberating.

Connors’ paintings are made with egg tempera on board, built up slowly layer by layer. The work returns to an apocryphal story from Connors’ childhood, where his dad recounted balancing on a felled log and having to leap over a swung axe in a feat of bravado. Amplifying and bending this remembered story with its elements of rural gothic, the painting includes multiple self-portraits of the artist. In the accompanying work a scarred ankle and foot is surrounded by a halo-like sun flare, maybe a transcendent incarnation of the earlier story. Winter’s textile banners, suspended from the gallery ceiling, are also drawn from images of the artist’s face and hands, alongside those of starlings’ wings, a Latin text which translates: “Do not speak of god without a light”, and other icons including a crystal, a star, a luminous alien. They fall from the ceiling, or, ascend from the ground. Duffy’s steel sculptures are bodies of metal—steel, resin, wire, strip lighting—that stoop and crouch as if in rapid motion, or, like the slower movements ageing and transmutation. Some hold translucent plates of plant matter including gorse, thyme, dandelion, and gay flower, along with raspberry and dirt and spit.

These works are made by three artists who are friends, developed separately but in conversation. Although the practices and media are significantly different, the works share an unruly and often acutely beautiful relationship to states of transformation, ecstasy, queer bliss. Near the end of CAConrad’s poem from which this exhibition takes its name it reads: in a future life / would we like to / fall in love with the / world as it is. Does this imply a kind of resignation to the world in its state of unwellness, ecocide, and extreme inequality? Or does it mean something else, like, a kind of ‘falling’ where love informs all our actions, a relationship to the world as it is—feral, splendid—rather than for what we can extract from it?

Image: Owen Connors, Autotomy (detail), 2022. Egg tempera on board, pigmented shellacked macrocarpa frame with oxidised silver beech detail, 600 x 700mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Covid-19 Protection Framework

The Arts Centre is following the Covid-19 Protection Framework and a 'My Vaccine Pass' is required to attend this exhibition. 

Location map

Ground floor, Registry Additions,
Montreal Street

Market Square South Quad North Quad Registry Student Union The Gym Engineering Common Room Library Biology, Observatory and Physics Chemistry School of Art West Lecture Classics Rutherford's Den Clock Tower Boy's High Workshop Great Hall
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