25 June - 8 August 2015
Cornucopia convenes several historic collections and examines the individual stories of collectors who catalogued objects, compiled cabinets and constructed galleries. A word commonly used in the eighteenth century to describe eclectic personal collections (meaning ‘plenty’), Cornucopia features work made by contemporary artists in response to a particular setting or individual involved in the pursuit of collection. In some instances, the subject of the work is another artist within a collection.
Michel Foucault described museums as a specific kind of hetrotopia or sealed utopia - defining ‘a slice in time’. A personal collection can hold a mirror to an individual’s interpretation of a particular time and place. This exhibition takes its cue from the collections of assorted individuals who were able to collect for numerous social and economic reasons at different points in history; perhaps as a leader of industry, a pillar of Empire, through working in institutions -holding a scientific or artistic interest or simply through personal wealth. The work featured here is a mirror held up to those collections by contemporary artists.