As part of The Brownfield Research Centre, and a project partnership between PMAG and AirSpace Gallery, Chilean artist, Rodrigo Arteaga
presents a series of jarring interventions throughout the Potteries Museum's Natural History Section, variously responding to ideas of urban ecologies, the Brownfield, collections and museum authority.
The Project consists of several elements as outlined below, formed of a series of sculptures and interventions that reflect upon our relationship with the environment, exploring the boundaries between nature and culture. These works, in collaboration with the Natural History Department, seek to engage with these subjects in new ways. The show proposes different interventions within existing Dioramas and cross-pollinating them with other Departments from the Museum. Some recent sculptures engage with the interaction between plants, animals and people in the surrounding brownfield sites.
The Moorland Diorama
This intervention responds to the existing Diorama of the Moorland. The intervention focuses on the idea of the Diorama as a fiction of the idea of nature. The lights appear to have fallen and broken in the floor and the animals appear to be looking at them.
Brownfield Site Sculptures (2 vitrines)
These sculptures focus on the relationship between humans and non-humans using a brownfield site as the setting. The sculpture is made from wire, thread and prints plus objects found in the surrounding Brownfield Sites, as well as built structures. Utilising familiar museum modes of display, the scenes depict the relationships between discarded man-made and natural objects.
This work consists of a series of objects - natural and man-made - foraged from the local Brownfield site, along with prints and images and formed together in perfect balance as a hanging mobile. The mobile relies on weight and balance and therefore creates an interesting metaphor with ecology and interdependency. It explores how animals interact with these particular environments.
The Ponds Diorama
This intervention occurs within the existing Diorama of the Pond. Several exotic and local birds, drawn from the Museum's Ceramic collection, have been intentionally placed among the usual taxidermy figures within the Natural History department in order to focus the viewer on the idea of representation of life in taxidermy as a cultural artefact, and whether it is simply being synonomous with that of the ceramic figure.
Local History Display: The Victorian House and The Pub
Here, Rodrigo responded to two existing Dioramas in the Local History displays - the Victorian House and The Pub. The emphasis of these interventions lies within interactions between humans and animals where the artist imagined what it would look like if animals were to inhabit our living environments.