Art and science, two worlds rarely associated with each other, sure scientists are used to uncover the authenticity and age of some critical pieces, but what about the pieces themselves? Street artist Roa has been exploring the visual and scientific themes of Darwin through his work for some time now, displaying not only the beauty in some of our most famous creatures, but the beauty science has to offer. Basically what I’m saying is, sometimes its whats on the inside that counts.
I think it should be noted first, Backwoods have really upped there game for 2012, letting some of their artists take over the space physically and really put their gallery goers in a world of their own. Walking into the gallery for this show instantly took you out of it, a rusty old shanty shed divides you between the main gallery space, surrounded with animal skulls and autopsy video’s, where the hell are we? You think to yourself and the question of where are we going is answered very quickly. Turn a corner and you’re in the main room, covered wall to wall with some fantastic Roa pieces that you should be familiar with, each being native Australian animals from echidna’s to the humble platypus. Placed in the middle of the room is a laboratory of sorts filled with more rooted and decaying local animals, only these are real and in tanks, not canvases. It’s a fascinating site [channelling David Attenborough for this one] and it puts you into the theme of this show pretty firmly, while allowing you to link both ideas together to appreciate the work on display.
The work itself is striking in black and white, yet physically layered with more colour, predominantly red and blue. As you can see by the two images above, each piece was completely interactive, allowing the viewer to ‘dissect’ the animals themselves. Obviously this is a real treat to partake in and before long you find yourself turning every single one of the pieces over to see whats inside. Some have 1 layer, then 2 and even 3, it’s a great way to get the audience, of any ages, to get more involved with the work. It’s not hard to see why Roa’s work is so appealing, I was a bit skeptical about the size of the work that would be on display, being more familiar with his large scale work, could the artist really transition the opposing scales to the same effect? Yes, undoubtedly yes, the work here is nature and unpretentious Roa isn’t trying to look good here, he’s trying to show you the beauty of mother nature in its purest form, in life and in death.
Obviously I’m terribly late with this one and the show has closed, but if you have any further inquiries about the work son display, don’t hesitate to get in contact with Backwoods Gallery. Congratulations out to the team about Backwoods also, 2012 was definately a year to remember through the eyes of your space and I can not wait to see what 2012 has in store for you and us!