Cellular Memory: Elizabeth Thomson

201 Eastbourne St East, Hastings

'We are each made up of one hundred million million cells, none of which have any idea who we are.’ - Marcus Chown

For over 30 years, Wellington-based sculptor/installation artist Elizabeth Thomson has been drawn to areas of scientific knowledge such as botany, micro-biology, oceanography and mathematics. With images and concepts from those fields as their starting point, Thomson’s works take flight. They impart a sense of mystery, beauty and the sheer exhilaration of being alive in a universe which is itself living, sentient and ever-responsive.

The works in Cellular Memory attest to a career-long commitment to grappling with both natural history and the human condition, fuelled by poetic imagination as well as by much research, field-work and long hours in the studio. The result is a body of work which asks some fundamental questions: How does humanity fit within the broader realm of nature? To what extent are we a part of, or distinct from, our environment? And how might the human imagination engage with the field of scientific knowledge?

Alluring yet at times a little disconcerting, Thomson’s works constantly return to the notion of strangeness and beauty which lies at the heart of the Romantic tradition. Echoing 20th-century abstract art and French Surrealism, her works incorporate photographic source materials as well as techniques drawn from the fields of painting, sculpture, craft traditions and practical science.

In Thomson’s art we encounter new ways of seeing, feeling, understanding and possibly even remembering. As human beings, we are familiar with our own patterns of memory — and with motor- or body-memory which allows us to repeat physical movements. The idea of cellular memory raises the possibility that memories might be stored within cellular structures.

In Elizabeth Thomson’s art we recognise not only the beginnings of life in microscopic, cellular structures but also the pulse of energy through water, the patterning of wind on sand and the cycles of growth and decay that characterise all life on our planet. In these meditative, beguiling, vital works, we begin to sense the curious intelligence and sensibility of our world — the many-layered environment of which we are a part.

Take a look around...

When

Sat 4th Jun 2022, 10:00am

Sun 5th Jun 2022, 1:00pm

Mon 6th Jun 2022, 10:00am

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Wed 6th Jul 2022, 10:00am

Thu 7th Jul 2022, 10:00am

Fri 8th Jul 2022, 10:00am

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Mon 11th Jul 2022, 10:00am

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Wed 13th Jul 2022, 10:00am

Thu 14th Jul 2022, 10:00am

Fri 15th Jul 2022, 10:00am

Sat 16th Jul 2022, 10:00am

Sun 17th Jul 2022, 1:00pm

Mon 18th Jul 2022, 10:00am

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Thu 21st Jul 2022, 10:00am

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Mon 15th Aug 2022, 10:00am

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Sun 4th Sep 2022, 1:00pm

Mon 5th Sep 2022, 10:00am

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Wed 7th Sep 2022, 10:00am

Where

Hastings City Art Gallery, Hastings, Hawke's Bay / Gisborne

201 Eastbourne St East, Hastings