Digital artist transforms fish bones into cosmic bodies and phantom creatures at The Grant

By Cultur24 Reporter | 19 May 2014

Digital artist Lan Lan has been playing with the fish bones of the UCL collection to create a series of phantom creatures

a digitally manipulated image of a sea creature against a black background
ALTED Hydrozoa by Lan Lan, 2014© the artist
The art programme at the Grant Museum of Zoology at UCL has, in recent years, resulted in several innovative dialogues with a historic collection that includes everything from dodo bones to a giant deer with antlers measuring more than three metres across.

Now the latest art exhibition at the museum is exploring the relationship between nature and its representations via the work of emerging artist Lan Lan, who manipulates original fish bone sculptures to create contemporary phantom creatures.

Using 21st century digital techniques the UCL Slade School of Fine Art Graduate, the artist is interested in the relationship between natural history and its contemporary interventions and has fond much to explore at the Grant.

“The journey my works have taken has been really unexpected,” says Lan. “In a way it’s like an accelerated evolutionary process. Placing the visuals among the museum’s collections really emphasises the abstraction of the works.”

Many of the artworks, which have been digitally reworked from a variety of sculpted materials including mercury, dried herbal conk mask, bugle beads and fish bone, have the appearance of the sea slugs and worms in the resident collection.

As you might imagine, the parallels between a Victorian collection of skeletons, skulls and specimens in jars and the virtual sculptures of a 21st century artist are as bounteous as the ocean that inspired them.

Subnature runs until July 19 2014. Open 1–5pm (closed Sunday). Admission free.

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