Art Gallery of Ballarat

30.09.17 to 28.01.18


Image: Lauren Black, A Complex Beauty, Installation View.


In this exhibition, Lauren Black builds on the themes of the related exhibition Memento Mori. Here the artist continues her work with diseased human remains, but shifts our engagement as she explores the territory of anatomical theatre, dissection, the complexities of disease and the unknown body.

The works in the exhibition are an outcome of a residency by Black at the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology at The University of Melbourne, with its fascinating collection of over 12,000 human specimens, which are available to students to learn about the inner workings of the body.

Black lifts the shroud of the skin to reveal a hidden, internal, anatomical world, reserved primarily for health professionals. The fine detail and artful skill of her beautiful artworks are anatomically insightful and explore the fine line between life, death and identity.

A Complex Beauty is an artistic engagement with disease and medical science, bringing together new works with artifacts from medicine’s past. In her hands, pathological specimens cast off their museum identities and become once again vibrant material with a past and a ghostly afterlife.

As part of this exhibition Black has responded to a rare medieval medical almanac from the Gallery collection, which will also be on display.


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