Hothouse | Dena Kahan
October 8 - November 7
Dena Kahan’s new body of work, Hothouse, continues her investigation into museum collections, taking as her subject the collection of antique botanical models at the University of Melbourne Herbarium and the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences in Sydney. Tightly arranged within narrow spaces, these objects convey a theatricality and surreal beauty, which overwhelms and subverts their role as objects of scientific certainty.
In this current series, insects infiltrate the sterile environment of the museum store, drawn to these artificial replicas of the plant world. This imagery references the tradition of 17th century Dutch still life, in which plants and insects take on symbolic meanings and flowers of different seasons bloom together.