David Blyth – Strange Attractor
A new art exhibition which launches this weekend in Aberdeen looks to deconstruct the mystic behind the craft of taxidermy.
Strange Attractor, which opens in the exhibition space at Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University (RGU), on Saturday, September 27, is a collection of works by artist David Blyth, who also lectures in Contemporary Art Practice (CAP) at Gray’s School of Art.
Focusing mainly on British birds and mammals, David has created a world which challenges people’s expectations of taxidermy and presents the pieces in a completely new way.
To make the exhibition, which features over 50 individual pieces as well as painted studies and photographic works, David searched for unloved or battered bits of taxidermy online before looking for different ways that the animals could be presented.
Taxidermy has been a central part of David’s career for the past 15 years, an interest which he can trace back to visits to Perth Museum as a child and which he began to practice as an art student at Gray’s.
“I found a dead squirrel that had been hit by a car and it was just so beautiful that I felt I had to do something to save it,” he explained. “Somebody had knocked this animal over and I felt compelled to try and right that wrong. My interest grew from there.
“Taxidermy is really such a mysterious art and what I attempt to do with this exhibition is to demystify it in some way. I feel that some of these pieces have more life than your typical stuffed animal, and for me, it is about uncovering a deeper understanding of the natural world.”
He added: “Taxidermy is very often placed in a science bracket and I hope that this exhibition goes some way towards reclassifying it and uncovering the art that is intrinsic within the process.
“I would like people to go away with a sense of wonder of nature and re-question our relationship with the natural world. There are a lot of serious points, but I think there is humour here, too.”
Jane Kidd, Collections Curator at the University’s Art and Heritage Collections, said: “This exhibition will really take you back to the first time you stared in fascination at really weird and wonderful things in a museum case. It’s macabre, yet fun at the same time, but it make s a serious point.
“It is a great privilege to have such an inventive artist create an exhibition exclusively for RGU.”
Strange Attractor goes on display in the exhibition space at the Georgina Scott Sutherland Study Centre, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, from Saturday, September 27. It will run until the end of the year.
Communications Officer | Design and Technology