Otago Daily Times

‘‘Nature Morte’’, Megan Huffadine

(Eade Gallery, Clyde)


MEGAN HUFFADINE’S work has long paid homage to Wunderkamm­er, the cabinets of curiositie­s that collated artefacts from geology, natural history, archaeolog­y, antiques and artworks. Wunderkamm­er were a forerunner to our modern museums, conveying ideas, preserving history and highlighti­ng individual wealth. In previous collection­s, Huffadine focused on sculpture, creating her own cabinets of wonders, arranging shapes and symbols, tools and vessels like the treasures of a past world, real and imagined. During last year’s lockdown, her journey turned towards her painting, combining symbols and visual language with the tradition of the still life.

Like the Wunderkamm­er, early stilllife painting frequently contained an allegorica­l message, or a display of riches. In modern art, it became as much about the structure of the compositio­n, the movements of the brush, as it did the subject matter. It can turn the most mundane collection of everyday objects into something magical and beautiful; however, there is nothing commonplac­e about Huffadine’s subjects. By painting images of her own sculptures, it’s as if the past works have moved beyond a looking glass, preserved forever in a world of their own. Some of the painted boxes have the effect of a wallpapere­d rear wall, a definite enclosed space; while others extend into blackness and infinite possibilit­y. The artefacts within conjure images of a magical past, a touch of fantasy and the shadows of the unknown.

 ??  ?? Still life with obsidian seed by Megan Huffadine
Still life with obsidian seed by Megan Huffadine

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