UNNATURAL ESOTERIC, the new exhibition by Galway artist Louise Manifold opens in the Galway Arts Centre tomorrow at 6pm and it will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in her hometown.
Unnatural Esoteric draws on mythical tales of shape-shifting and metamorphosis alongside published research on clinical lycanthropy, a rare psychiatric illness in which the subject is convinced that he/she is turning into an animal. These ideas are explored through video, photography, and sculptural installation.
The structure of the exhibition reflects the artist’s fascination with the German wunderkammer, or ‘cabinet room of curiosities’- private museums which date back to the 16th century. Louise uses the idea of the museum to contemplate the cultural relationships between hybrid transformations and human and animal identity.
For the exhibition the artist embarked upon a residency at one of the oldest intact wunderkammer museums in the world at the Franke Foundation in Halle, Germany in 2009.
Louise is currently based in Galway and a guest resident of Artspace studios. Unnatural Esoteric runs until April 14. Admission is free. See www.galwayartscentre.ie