THE WILD SHOW
| Iain Griffin - August 2nd - 11th, 2017
THE WILD SHOW is a mixed media installation featuring rear projected found footage and live potted house plants which continues to explore Griffin's interest in the relationship between art history and the contemporary idealism of natural wilderness.
The artist incorporates a video from Youtube which is one of hundreds of videos of jungles on the internet which are intended to assist viewers to relax, sleep, meditate, do yoga or just disassociate from their current condition. The video is a still edited image of a unspecified jungle with a looped soundtrack of wild birds and mammals. This contemporary format of viewing nature for the purpose of relaxation has of course not always been the case.
In the fantastical arrangement of plants there is some echo of the work of modernist French painter Henri Rousseau (1844 - 1910). The artist is best known for his paintings set in exotic fantasy jungles such as The Dream and Surprised Storm in the Forest. During his career it was believed that Rousseau had sourced his first hand material during a military service in Mexico. However, it is now clear that those suggestions were unfounded and Rousseau had never been beyond the borders of France, never mind seen a rainforest. His primary sources for the scenes of his jungle paintings were in fact the plants from the Botanical Gardens in Paris.
Griffin’s use of a three dimensional foreground and background roots the work in the Australian Colonial tradition of landscape painting. In this genre painters adapted what they saw to fit with what they imagined, which meant that frequently scenes were amended to reflect better scenes of an English Countryside rather than the rugged scenes of the Australian Colony. In THE WILD SHOW the artist also plays with formats of editing the display of natural scenes to present a select version of wilderness which reinforces the notion of humans being in control.
THE WILD SHOW is curated by Siobhan Mooney.