In the Red: Nature in the Balance

In the Red: Nature in the Balance


14 July – 3 September 2014

Artist-in-residence Shelley Castle responds to the Natural History collections at Torquay Museum, focusing on birds from the Red List – the classification of birds whose existence is under threat. Incorporating treasures from our Natural History collections into new dioramas, Shelley Castle references the Cabinet of Curiosities of the 17th and 19th centuries. Through drawing and photography, she re-interprets our relationship with birds and draws on natural resources to create new ritual adornments.

Inspired by the Victorian founders of the museum, amateur scientists records and the Ornithological collection, the resulting exhibition touches on personal fears for future generations growing up without the creatures we take for granted – the Sparrow, Starling, Herring Gull and Song Thrush – now teetering between the real and the realms of myth.

The rapid disappearance of species was ranked as one of the planet's gravest environmental worries, surpassing pollution, global warming and the thinning of the ozone layer, according to the survey of 400 scientists commissioned by New York's American Museum of Natural History.

Over the course of the exhibition there will be opportunities to meet the artist and you can follow her progress through her BLOG as she develops work and explores ‘behind the scenes’ at the museum. A range of activities related to the exhibition will also be taking place. Keep an eye on our website or sign up to our e-newsletter here for further information and upcoming dates.

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