Public cockroaches to fly through David Shrigley walls at Science Museum's Atmosphere

By Culture24 Staff | 22 November 2010
Cockroaches and cartoons at the Science Museum's latest new gallery
Cult squiggler David Shrigley will cover a wall in a “house of cards” and visitors will be turned into cockroaches at the Science Museum in London as part of a five-year cycle of works by leading artists for the powerhouse’s new gallery on climate change.

Shrigley will draw directly onto a wall inside the Atmosphere space, which opens to the public on December 4 2010, in a work symbolising the precipice scientists face, accompanying interactive exhibits and objects explaining the latest findings about our changing planet.

“My artwork for the gallery is a scaled-up drawing of a house of cards,” says Shrigley, who is known for his acutely subversive cartoons in strong black pencil and ink.

“The metaphor I have used is quite a straightforward one: our atmosphere and environment are in very delicate balance – a balance that it could be disastrous for us to upset.”

“His work presents us with his own incisive and uniquely skewed perspective of the modern world,” reckons curator Ruth Fenton, who says the gallery is “thrilled” with Shrigley’s idea.

“We offered David an open brief and for this commission he has chosen to highlight to us the fragility of the system we live within.  Over the course of the gallery’s five years we will commission different artists to respond to this ever dynamic subject matter.”

A Cockroach Tour of the Science Museum will also see the public invited to dress up as cockroaches before flying through the venue on a comedy tour in early 2011 concocted by art alliance Superflex, who have been known to turn galleries into McDonald’s outlets.

The trip will take explorers through the Energy Hall, Exploring Space and Making the Modern World galleries, showing life through the lens of a critter known for being one of the planet’s oldest and most hardy life forms.

Other art interventions planned to start at the Museum in April 2011 include a 1,000-year-long piece of music made by artist and musician Jem Finer, a photographic illustration of ecological issues in China by Yao Lu and a dissection of technological discovery and development based around a homemade toaster by Thomas Thwaites.
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