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Exhibitions: Fiona Pardington’s From the Field of Dreams: Phallus Impudicus and Other Species

Art photographer Fiona Pardington will be exhibiting a new series at Whanagnui’s McNamara photography gallery early next month.

The Field of Dreams: Phallus Impudicus and Other Species exhibition begins on September 2, when the artist will be in attendance for an opening reception, and runs until the end of the month.

The series collects images of wax-cast models of different mushroom species created by the19th century French botanist Jean-Baptiste Barla.

Themed around the facetious concept ‘better than nature…’ the exhibition explores the way in which these models act as a more reliable alternative to the actual specimens they replicate.

“Models being permanent, self-evident and forever available replace problematic nature; life is vulnerable and mortal and all life has its seasons,” the gallery explains.

Pardingon, whose work often examines the relationship of the photographic process to its subject, compares the use of wax-cast models in our understanding of natural history to the use of photography to enhance our observational powers.

While we might expect photographs to be an immutable recording of things as they are many of the images will have now erroneous colouration due to the pigments and various chemistry within their oil painted surfaces changing over time.

“For me this reality is part of the fragile beauty of them,” says Pardington.

For location details and opening hours click through to the gallery’s website.

Image: © Fiona Pardington

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