Wednesday, 12 February 2014

how to drown an albatross

I am one of 14 Great Southern artists (that's artists from the Great Southern, not GREAT artists who come from the south) involved in this PIAF exhibition. I only finished my piece for it yesterday. I'm kind of looking forward to it - I haven't been in a group exhibition like this since 2008 when I participated in ArtiStories in Denmark.

My work is a simple video projection. I will post it here once the exhibition is up and running. It is a 'themed' exhibition and luckily I had an idea for something that fit - otherwise I wouldn't have bothered. I actually don't like being driven by other people's themes, but this one worked quite well for me. You'll be pleased to hear I haven't been cured of my addiction to apocalyptic gloom.

There will be 10 minute talks by the artists (including me) on Saturday 1st of March at 3.00 pm. Very casual. This is my artist's statement:

Michelle Frantom, How to Drown an Albatross, digital drawing/video

'Is it he?....Is this the man?
By him who died on cross,
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless Albatross'

In a world where humans are the dominant species, 'interconnectedness' is generally considered to be a positive thing. The digital 'web', transport networks and invisible lines of electronic communication evidence our ability to penetrate almost every realm of existence. This work focuses on the negative outcomes of our obsession to leave nothing untouched.

A conceptual thread ironically links the albatross's 'webbed feet' to the human-made 'web-like' thread that has taken its life. Just as in Samuel Coleridge's, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the 'harmless Albatross' has once again been sacrificed because of humankind's obsession with itself.

(Original reference image of albatross: G Robertson, Australian Antarctica Division, Tasmania)

You are welcome to come to the opening next Friday 21 Feb @ 7.00 pm at the Albany Town Hall, but please RSVP to Annette Davis by 17 February: 


  1. Hi Michelle,
    I am very sorry to not be there but I will be talking at the Perth festival the next day. But I would love to come along to your artist's talk in March.

    So very glad you are not cured of your post apocalyptic dystopia ideas :~)

    'Leaving nothing untouched' and the human ego reminds me of my sadness whenever they find a new species/country/ - and then goggle earth as well. It always feels to me like the Goddess is finally pimped out and her legs spread for everyone to see. There is something offensive to me, about the uncovering of the secrets.

    It sounds like a great show. I love The Rime. It is one of my favourite pieces of work. I hope it is a blast for you. Well done Michelle!

  2. Wow. I hope your talk goes really well Sarah.

    That's a very apt description about the Goddess. The female in me gets so murderously incensed at the violation by the masculine in this world.

    The exhibition here is no big deal, but nice to be doing something with other local artists and getting out there after years in solitude. Not too much socialising though, I'll be back in my cave soon enough.