THE SOULBEAST COLLECTION

Soulbeasts, “like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”

Adaptation from Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

 

Artspace, Cass Art, 43-45 Park Street, Bristol BS1 5NL

Collections of monsters – some cute, some terrifying, but all welcome inhabit the space in many guises. They all represent fragments of the self. The 13 giclée prints are created from analogue collages which are composed from reclaimed paper-ware and other materials. All materials are recycled and found, enhancing the sense of piecing together part of one’s Soul. Each work is a different attempt to give form to the formless, name to the nameless, colour to the invisible.

The elegance of these paper menuiseries is juxtaposed by the roughness of their unique frames. These were created especially for the exhibition and are made from discarded old- growth pine architraves taken from a 1920’s Cornish building. Their layered appearance complements the layering that is integral to collage and their reclaimed nature echoes the qualities of the mediums used as well as the philosophy of their creation.

The layers of paper and coats of paint that are so visible here are merely a refrain for the boundless nature of the human experience.

 

The Earth obey’d and straight

Op’ning her fertile womb teem’d at a birth

Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms,

Limb’d and full-grown …

The grassy clods now calv’d; now half appear’d

The tawny lion, pawing to get free

His hinder parts, then springs as broke from bonds,

And rampant shakes his brindled mane; the ounce,

The libbard and the tiger, as the mole

Rising, the crumbl’d earth above them threw

In hillocks; the swift stag from under ground

Bore up his branching head; scarce from his mould

Behemoth biggest born of earth upheav’d

His wastness; fleec’t the flocks and bleating rose

As plants; ambiguos between sea and land

The cyber-fish and scaly Monkey.

                                      Adaptation from PARADISE LOST, vii, 453 sqq.