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Siren Deluxe: An Exercise in Futility


Thu 24 Nov 2011, 11:00am–4:00pm
Fri 25 Nov 2011, 11:00am–4:00pm
Sat 26 Nov 2011, 11:00am–2:00pm
Wed 30 Nov 2011, 11:00am–4:00pm
Thu 1 Dec 2011, 11:00am–4:00pm

Where: Thermostat Gallery, 1st Floor, 155 The Square, Palmerston North

Restrictions: All Ages

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Listed by: Catherine Russ

The inspiration for this new series of work by Siren Deluxe is drawn from Dutch memento mori and vanitas paintings of the 17th century. The themes of loss and materialism, suffering and disillusionment are portrayed in large scale glossy photographs with inky black backgrounds. The objects seem hyper-real, taking on the other-worldly profundity of the wilted flower head or decaying peach of the vanitas painting. Traditional memento mori elements are mimicked in her photographs, such as the human skull, but new symbols for a new age are introduced: a pill container, an unsanitary bar of dried-out soap which the artist wryly says serves to remind her 'that cleanliness is next to godliness'.

This body of work is darkly beautiful. The mix of beauty and despair proves strangely intoxicating.

Siren Deluxe is a photography based artist. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Quay School of Arts in Whanganui and a Graduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies at Victoria University in Wellington. She is a recipient of the Gershwin artists in residency programme, New York, January 2009.

An Exercise in Futility opens at Thermostat Gallery on Saturday 12 November and runs until 1 December.

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