Exhibition at Mwldan
The new exhibition of work by Morag Colquhoun, showing at Oriel Mwldan opened last Saturday with a brief discussion between the artist and fellow artist Rabab Ghazoul. Attendance for opening events is never high but there was a better than usual interested gathering who came to hear what was said, and to be amongst the early birds to see the show itself. Ghouzal has been a mentor to the artist and has encouraged Colquhoun, being instrumental in the artist developing her work. The show returns to the recurrent themes of energy and entropy which the artist has been interested in, and has worked with in previous exhibitions.
At first sight of this particular show, there is the look of a laboratory in the way the exhibits are displayed. Detailed objects of apparent, fragile plantlife, linked to and backed by curves of painted glass, sit together in clear glass cubes atop high wooden stools made for the purpose. These stools with their precious contents, stand in rows, neat and straight, down the centre of the gallery, and for a moment it is possible to imagine that a microscope and a bunsen burner might be seen just around the corner. In fact of course there is no such thing. There are manipulated photographs, and videos and this is by no means a laboratory. There is however, a leaning toward the experimental involved when we realise that under close scrutiny, the delicate plantlife is not all that it seems, but it is in fact a series of minutely observed sculptures, modelled by Colquhoun in beeswax before setting them in harness to the glass pictures. The infinite care and skill in the detail captured in the wax plant modelling is breathtaking, and this is not a new concept for artists. It was, in fact popular during the Victorian era along with the painted glass. The title of the show is Energia, and involves seeking to display the energy of the world in its natural form within an original manufactured context. Alongside the exhibits of the wax models with their glass panels, is a video of a journey, a delightful journey by car with a simple Welsh lesson being instructed as progress continues capturing the ceaseless journey we take, recycled again and again on our personal voyage through life.
The exhibition is open daily at Oriel Mwldan until 30 November.