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Spidergoat & the Insect Electro

  • National Wool Museum 2018   /  White Night Ballarat 2019   /   Photographs and video by Sarah Walker  /  Senior Curator Luke Keogh

“It was eerie, absorbing, spectacular and inspiring all at the same time. Brilliant exhibition”. Ken Linnett (visitor)

Spidergoat and the Insect Electro was created for the National Wool Museum and appeared at White Night Ballarat.

Light filled cocoons and gentle electro sounds led you into the installation where you unravelled 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 in science – from across the ages and into the contemporary transgenic era. What is revealed is hard to believe, but it is a true story! 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’.

Some artwork from the installation is now part of the National Wool Museum Collection.

Here is a link to a video that illustrates the sound and light by Pierre Proske  /  Video by Kathy Holowko