See Living Worlds in 3D!

Coming to an art gallery near you is a 3-D view of one of Manchester Museum’s most popular displays.

Artist Jenna Rouse has captured the Living Worlds gallery using a stereoscopic film camera (a camera with two or more lenses) and the fantastic results are set to feature in her forthcoming exhibition.

The redeveloped Living Worlds gallery (2011) has proved a great source of inspiration to visiting artists and art students thanks to its innovative blend of natural history, personal stories and provocative displays.

From a floating herd of paper cranes representing the wishes of a dying girl in Hiroshima in the ‘Peace’ display, to the plaster casts of the Pompeii dead in the ‘Disasters’ case, and LED light displays about climate change within the ‘Weather’ cabinet, the gallery is full of arresting visual pieces and captivating emotional narratives.

Living Worlds

The ‘Bodies’ cabinet in particular caught Jenna’s eye and is the subject of one of the haunting images (see below) that form part of her current project, Stereoscopic Adventures.

She explains: “My practice explores natural history museums and the specimens housed within them, using photography to entrap them within a world of my own making.The Stereoscope produces a three-dimensional image of the world by interlocking two flat images allowing the audience to literally behold and possess what has been placed before the lens.

“The work is 2m x 1m printed onto fabric and aims to create an overwhelming experience and adventure of natural history museums and the specimens they are home to”.

jennarouse N0541001 ManchesterMuseumStereo2014
Jenna Rouse

Jenna adds: “The stereoscopic relics created allow the observer to have an experience with natural history specimens. A thin slice of time is taken and frozen within a photograph, stolen and preserved in a tangible and nostalgic afterlife. The photograph is like a fossil, fixed in limestone”.

The images will be on display at the Surface Gallery in Nottingham between September 19th and October 5th.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Manchester Museum and its current artistic goings-on then check out Boff Whalley’s ‘Blog’ for details of the Wonder project in collaboration with People United.

And finally, a huge thank you to Jenna for sparing the time to talk to me about her work and for sharing her images.

Post by Louise Thomas


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