Exhibition: Emotional Archaeology by Daphne Wright


After seeing a magazine interview with the Daphne Wright about her latest exhibition, I was very keen to go and visit it.

Emotional Archaeology, is the artist’s most comprehensive exhibition to date.  It combines sculpture, with drawings, found photographs and video installations.  The accompanying exhibition guide, describes the artworks as being “simultaneously both exquisite and shocking”, and I think that the sculpture of the dead horse in the first gallery (see above) is particularly good example of this.

What I find most interesting about the exhibition, is that all of Wright’s work (spanning each of the galleries) is almost colourless.  Also, much of the work is constructed from delicate or unstable materials, for example, the giant, tin-foil wrapped cacti in the upper gallery.  I find it intriguing that the artist doesn’t intend for her works to last.

There are obvious themes running through the exhibition, for example ideas about care, aging and parenthood.  One of my favourite pieces, was of the artist’s two children sitting at a kitchen table, a moment of their childhood frozen in time.  The colourless and fragile nature of the work though, creates a feeling of poignancy, and the idea of a moment lost, presumably as the children grow into adulthood.

From a personal perspective, I find it interesting that parenthood has so obviously influenced the artist’s practice.  As a parent of two young children myself, I find myself wondering whether it is possible for any artist’s work to be unchanged by becoming a parent.