A Terrible Beauty
Date: Nov 26, 2005 - May 14, 2006
Artist: Jennifer Angus
Curated by: Sarah Quinton
A Terrible Beauty's intricate geometric patterns are drawn onto the gallery walls using 15,000 tropical insects pinned into exacting patterns that transform the gallery space into four sensational tableaux. In this 2005 site-specific installation, Jennifer Angus abstracts the languages of pattern, colour and materials found in a range of world textiles. Hers is a delightful yet satirical approach to art making that reflects upon the warmth and comforts of home, travel, storytelling, and the human compulsion to form collections and induce order.
Since 1999, Jennifer Angus has been creating site-specific installations composed of thousands of insects pinned directly to the wall in intricate, repeating patterns. A Terrible Beauty, a new work created especially for the Textile Museum of Canada, continues these projects by further subverting wallpaper and textile patterns customarily found in domestic settings. Here the warmth and comforts of home have undergone a metamorphosis, resulting in subtly disturbing yet surprisingly beautiful environments created by the application of 15,000 insects in ornamental patterns. This exhibition reflects on the Victorian penchant for collecting and displaying exotic objects from around the world by imagining rooms belonging to a fictitious collector. Angus has designed a printed wallpaper pattern especially for her Toronto show in which playful pastoral scenes (based on those found in 18th-century toile de Jouy textiles) are enacted by bugs.