Wunderkammer: Works by Kimberly Witham
Exhibit dates: January 24 – March 8, 2014
A statement from the artist
“My work is strongly influenced by natural history dioramas, cabinets of curiosity, still life painting and other visual manifestations of mans attempt to categorize, comprehend and ultimately control the natural world.
The photographs in this series pay homage to traditional still life painting while underscoring the inherent tension between humans and nature. While traditional Vanitas paintings refer to the futility of earthly pleasure, the photographs in this series question the consequences of our domestic comforts. Sixteenth and Seventeenth century still lifes often combined domestic objects with items from foreign locales; the content of my photographs are found much closer to home. The objects in these photos include personal possessions, flowers and vegetables from my garden, and birds and animals found by the roadside. As I collect these items, I arrange them into ephemeral constructions that are simultaneously whimsical and grotesque. While these images are inspired conceptually by the Vanitas tradition, formally they are more akin to the glossy home and style magazines ubiquitously present in grocery store check-out aisles. These idiosyncratic arrangements highlight both the promise of suburban comfort and the aftermath of our continued consumption.” – kimberly Witham