Art through sci-fi at Royal West of England Academy's Unnatural Natural History in Bristol

By Ruth Hazard | 12 July 2012
Paintings by Luis Sanchez are created using the innovative trompe l’oeil method, which makes them appear as though they are collages when the artist has only used a brush© Lius Sanchez
Exhibition: Unnatural - Natural History, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, July 13 - September 23 2012

The premise for the new exhibition at RWA sounds like something straight out of science fiction.

The Wards in Jarndyce is just one of the surreal sci-art offerings on display in Bristol
Based on the creepy imaginings of a world where the dominant species are not human and natural beings have been warped by genetic mutations and environmental pressure, the display addresses man’s ongoing decimation of the planet.

There’s an incredible amount of talent involved, with curating duo Coates and Scarry asking 35 artists from across the world to contribute to the brief of “unnatural natural history”.

Chippy Coates heralds the results as “diverse and alluring", saying the finished display is a "blend of innovative art, creative ideas and lateral thinking”.

Sculptural installation WREST has been created from feathers© Kate McGwire Photograph by Tessa Angus courtesy of All Visual Arts
The thematic exhibition has enticed the involvement of David LaChapelle, whose chromogenic print, Concerning the Soul, combines a unique hyper-realistic aesthetic with a profound social message.

Paintings by Luis Sanchez are both grim and sublime, created using the innovative trompe l’oeil method that makes the piece appear as though it is made from photography or collage when actually, the artist only used a brush.

Also at the space are Kate MccGwire's otherworldly sculptural forms made from feathers, while Erik Sandberg's offerings include disturbing portrayals of children with wild, hairy faces.

  • Open 9.30am-5.30pm (11am-5pm Sunday). Admission £5/£3 (free for under-16s).
More pictures:

The Lion, the Beast and Me© Deedee Cheriel
Black and White Cow© Geza Szollosi courtesy of Mauger Modern
Darwin's Dinner Party© Nicole Eitienne
Relics© Chantall Powell
Love Song© Troy Abbott, Courtesy Robert Fontaine Gallery
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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