Cabinets of Curiosity
February 28, 2015 - January 17, 2016
Step into a strange world - one that you can explore with both your eyes
and hands. Cabinets of Curiosity is an installation inspired by the 17th Century tradition of “Wunderkammer” (wonder-rooms). These collections and elaborate displays were essentially the precursors of museums, filled with exotic curiosities, thrilling and macabre items and the natural wonders of the world.
Edmonton artist Lyndal Osborne draws on her own lifelong compulsion for collecting objects from the places she has lived and travelled, creating a chamber full of awesome oddities: emu eggs and rubber spiders, a porcupine pelt and a plastic platypus, animal skulls and ant nests… just to name a very few.
Collected from the coast of Australia and the wilds of Alberta’s prairie landscape, Osborne’s curiosities fuse the fanciful and the factual, the real and the imagined, in a space designed for exploration and discovery.
Children and adults alike are encouraged to connect and engage with Osborne’s interactive display. Be warned, though – it may require repeat visits to uncover all of the wonderful surprises on store in this “cabinet.”
“I feel like an archeologist seeking and retrieving discarded fragments of the urban environment and the dried out remains of natures' seasons. All have gone through their prime of life and now remain as relics of past glories. The objects are then recreated by me as a direct response to my encounters in nature in the role of observer and participant. I am expressing in my work images which are about timelessness and regeneration. In one sense it is a form of purification, but it is also a way to understand death and to celebrate life through our need to define and humanise our existence on this planet.” - Lyndal Obsbourne