(selected by Andrew Patrizio)
Cinematic Cat, 2005
Andrea Roe's work examines the nature of human and animal biology, behaviour, communication and interaction within specific ecological contexts. Several residencies have introduced her to different types of institutions, ranging from the Wellcome Trust to the Crichton Psychiatric Hospital, Dumfries, where she learned about and responded to research projects and collections. Through photography, film and installation, Roe translates scientific research on the psychology of animal behaviour into artworks that are experienced physically as unfamiliar, visceral sensory encounters.
Roe is now approaching the end of a 12-month Leverhulme Trust residency at the National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh, where working among scientists she has become interested in capturing the critical moments of the process of taxidermy, a practice often thought of as macabre or gruesome. Roe, however, believes there is something poetic, if not beautiful about transforming dead animals into specimens that appear to be alive. Her particular interest lies in the sensory experience of taxidermy which she argues is a mixture of scientific process and art form. She wants to bring this to a wider audience via film, still photography and interactive displays through the use of animatronics. 'Each specimen represents a combination of the taxidermist's knowledge and aesthetic judgement. I want to reveal the hidden skill and process of taxidermy and to show some of the research behind the temporary exhibitions at NMS.'
Andrea's work will attempt to entice the viewer and to share her understanding of the animal's life. This is in contrast to the usual display of animals, which focuses on the finished specimen.
'... in preparing a bird skin, the surprise of opening up a belly and finding its prey inside or seeds giving some clue to its flight path is a detail rarely related to the viewer. It seems that the exciting, investigative work in the research laboratory is not on offer to the general public except perhaps in a diluted form. Hopefully the work i'm doing will provide an alternative viewpoint.' (Explorer Magazine, National Museums of Scotland, Spring 2005).
Roe studied MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design (1999-2000). Recent solo exhibitions include New Arrivals, SAC Aberdeen, 2002, Incidental Relationships, Ateliers Hoherweg, Dusseldorf, 2001, Rabbit Run, Wellcome Trust, London, 2001, and Close Shave, Mafuji Gallery, London, 2000. She is based in Edinburgh where she is a part-time lecturer on the MFA course in Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art.
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