Week 7 – Artist Interview – Colette Brown

I had a very interesting time viewing this gallery. Haha While Diaz and I were viewing the gallery together; we noticed a pungent smell which we just wrote off as some smelly building material probably used by the artist. However, when taking a closer look inside the holes of the egg-shaped pieces of art, we quickly took a step back and were shocked. The smell was coming from inside the pieces. Inside of this egg in particular, there was a melon with a large blob of white mold growing surrounded by a thick orange juice. As I examined the other pieces in the room, I was greeted with the smell of rotting yogurt, coffee grounds, and various fruit. Needless to say, I was puzzled until I had a chance to talk to the artist.

When I met Colette, she was half way through a story about her pet beetle. It was obvious I had found the correct girl as most would shutter at the thought of large beetle as a pet. I was however, intrigued. I asked about the exhibit and Colette went on to explain the pieces were a comment on the process of decay and how rotting is a factor that actually unifies most types of animals, plants, and foods. She told of her inspiration for the gallery which had actually been a dead frog she had found while on a walk. The frog had gotten caught out in the scorching sun and simply dried up. It was curious however because the frog had not been touched otherwise. Normally the corpse would have been ravaged by all types of insects or birds, but this frog sit there, untouched. She was then inspired to create this series of pieces.

I really enjoyed the gallery (although not so much the smell) because decomposition has always been a part of nature that fascinated me. It’s so gross and sad to think about, but it’s such a necessary part of dying. It occurs so commonly and in so many ways, but still seems so foreign and taboo to us. I shared stories with the artist telling her of my own artistic pull towards decay. I am often drawn to art involving death. It’s kind of the same appeal that scary movies carry. It draws the attention because it’s something most people are curious or preoccupied about. That’s what I saw in this gallery. It took me out of my comfort zone and I was drawn by that.

 

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