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Sculptor Elizabeth Thomson's quiet occupation of The Dowse

For immediate release: 12 August 2014

Sculptor Elizabeth Thomson stages quiet occupation of The Dowse

Visitors to The Dowse Art Museum will be fascinated and captivated when they experience Invitation to Openness—Substantive and Transitive States a new installation by Wellington sculptor Elizabeth Thomson.

An entire room will be quietly inhabited by hundreds of white moths which will hover in the space as though having arrived of their own accord. Blending with the white walls, their camouflaged bodies gently fill the space, tentative in their willingness to be seen, appearing as if this is their natural habitat. This flock of moths invites you to step into the installation, be immersed and become a part of it. Invitation to Openness—Substantive and Transitive States is an invitation to suspend disbelief and preconception.

This site-specific work is Elizabeth Thomson’s most ambitious installation to date as it fills an entire gallery. Each moth is cast in bronze and flocked in white giving the moths an eerie realism.

In 2011 Elizabeth Thomson was invited on a voyage with eight other artists to the Kermadec Islands. At night on Raoul Island, she was intrigued by a mass of moths which occupied the buildings they were staying in. Remembering the moths of her childhood and aware of this abundance, this tenacity of life but also its fragility, she was inspired to create an immersive environment of her own. Elizabeth has spent countless hours to produce the first-wave of moths that will be released on to the gallery walls ready for the exhibition opening on August 23, 2014. The artist will continue to add moths to the installation for the duration of the exhibition accentuating the sense of the moths’ occupation of the space.

Courtney Johnston, director of The Dowse says “We keep talking about the ambition of this project because it really is a work on a grand scale. This installation will be more organic and immersive than anything Elizabeth has created to date. We anticipate this work will evoke surprise and curiosity as well as contemplation and other-worldliness. It is a truly special project”.

The artist has a long-standing relationship with The Dowse Art Museum. Examples of Elizabeth’s first bronze moths made in 1990 are held in The Dowse collection and the artist was one of three artists commissioned to create a work celebrating the millennium. The resulting work, Naenae Parterre, A Garden of Optics from the Intermillennium Series, was shown at The Dowse in 1999.

Exhibition details:
Invitation to Openness—Substantive and Transitive States
23 August-23 November 2014| FREE Entry

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