“It was eerie, absorbing, spectacular and inspiring
all at the same time. Brilliant exhibition”. Ken Linnett (visitor)
Spidergoat and the Insect Electro is on show until July 29 at the National Wool Museum. Light filled cocoons and gentle electro sounds lead you into the installation where you unravel a strange and thought provoking story about insect silk, told almost entirely with wool. The quest to obtain or replicate the qualities of spider silk reveal unusual methods of research from across the ages and into the contemporary transgenic era. What is revealed is hard to believe, but it is a true story! The exhibition launch was super fun, the Museum turned off all its lights for the night, as part of Geelong After Dark and we had the music pumping. Pierre Proske brought his Sensory Empire skills to this installation with light and sound and was DJ on the night.
After many years spent marvelling at the artistry of spiders as weavers, this installation has given me the opportunity to delve into the qualities of spidersilk. As the strongest known natural fibre on the planet and many times stronger than steel, its elasticity and strength has been coveted by human industry and the sciences for centuries. It is with some kind of satisfaction that it remains somewhat elusive, like natures last secret. Up to this point human interference in natural selection has been as an editor, not a creator but the story revealed a new branch of the tree of life. That of the synthetic kingdom – the human made lifeforms on the cusp of introduction that are falling under the gaze of industrialised biology. As Senior Curator Luke Keogh pointed out, we are entering ‘brave new worlds’.
- National Wool Museum / Exhibition ends July 29, 2018 / Photographs by Sarah Walker / Senior Curator Luke Keogh