kendal murray

The Collector

Arthouse Gallery 07/05/2014

Imagine your own private world filled with treasures from a time you thought was lost to you. The objects seem so personally symbolic, and the stories they tell, recapture the atmosphere and sensations of your most cherished memories. You are longing to regain that experience; and are both lost and found again, in the fantastic reverie of your collection.

Amongst the artwork in the exhibition "The Collector", a display of household and personal items, from a bygone era, have been freed from the meanings of their original use and recreated into dreamlike symbols, to enact and represent the collector's desire to create a world and narrative identity for them self. The concept of time is condensed and redefined within the dream like world of the collection.

The conflation of the collections of timber household items and furnishings, purses, mirrored compacts and pipes, all yielding botanical specimens with miniature figurative scenes, propose the process of collection as a way to re-experience a time past as a dreamlike experience. The act of substitution that takes place in the imagination of the collector is enacted by the reinterpretation of the original timber forms and other collectables, from usable household objects into trophies of a surreal quest to reclaim certain personal experiences. Imagined with an emphasis on the narrative about personal identity they give meaning to, they reenact, reform, restructure and renovate according to the collector's longing for the experiences from a time past. Exotic botanic specimens; collected and displayed, as personal trophies in the secret gardens of the collection, cultivated so that they adapt to their surreal surroundings. Fragments of a larger world, the gardens within the artworks are designed as symbolic spaces, worlds within worlds, referring to more than can be seen. The intimate scale of the scene offers a condensed emotional experience, just as the collection does.

The inaccessible places of the miniature, and the inaccessible secrets of the collection can only be truly experienced through the imagination.

Kendal Murray, 2014