'Over the course of his artistic oeuvre, Mark Dion has continued to explore human curiosity, from its origins to how we have explored and tried to make sense of the natural world, to the concept of who then has the privilege of indulging this curiosity and sharing their findings with society. This line of inquiry has manifested in several aspects of Dion’s practice, including his scholarly interest in the traditionally scientific realms observation, documentation, and display. While scientifically driven, it is in Dion’s approach to working through each of these practices and interrogating their methodologies that provides a unique artistic critique of the nature of inquiry.'
Curious Creatures is community outreach project for young people led by Kimberly Griffith, Hugh Lane Fulbright scholar. The project consists of a series of pre-visits with young people in their community to discuss the project and themes in Mark Dion's exhibition Our Plundered Planet as well as discussions/sketching in front of Mark Dion's work at the Hugh Lane followed by artist-led workshops in the Hugh Lane's dedicated education studio space.
The springboard for this project is an exploration of curiosity. Using direct engagement with Our Plundered Planet as a starting point, participants will be encouraged to explore their own natural curiosities by creating artwork inspired by the exhibition and sharing their own unique stories and interpretations of the works on display. Mark Dion’s artistic practice will serve as the basis for encouraging participants to explore, as they engage in the processes of observation, documentation, and display.
For the purposes of Curious Creatures, observation is defined as the act of looking closely, be it at a single object, the details of one’s surroundings, or even one’s own history. These insights will be recorded in field notebooks as part of the second step in the investigative process, documentation. For Mark Dion, the practice of documentation becomes an artistic process in itself, with his “field guides” often displayed as part of the mise-en-scene in the artist’s tableaux and installations. Similarly, participants will be encouraged to make sketches, take notes, and otherwise document their workshop experiences.
Once projects are completed, participants will then be encouraged to work together to display their works considering what new forms of knowledge and understanding are generated by arranging items in a particular fashion and participants will collaborate on a Curious Creatures podcast.
For further information please contact Kimberly Griffith, e. JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING or Jessica O'Donnell, Head of Education and Community Outreach, Hugh Lane Gallery, e. JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING