Angela Cockayne, is an Artist, Curator and Reader in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts at Bath Spa University. Her books include Provenance 2010 and Dominion 2011 both co authored with Philip Hoare. Published by Wunderkammer Press. She is also co-curator of the www.mobydickbigread.com
Her work has toured with the House of Fairy Tales Exquisite Trove, an exhibition inspired by cabinets of curiosities or Wunderkammer.
Dominion incorporates Cockayne's chimerical objects, part animal, part sculpture, with Philip Hoare's physical interaction with sperm whales. Using artwork and text thrown up by this new meeting of art, literature, music and science, the result is an aesthetic sermon on the state of the whale and the world. The film of the same name has been screened as part of the Dark Monarch exhibition Tate St Ives and Tate Liverpool.
Angela Cockayne explores the interface between art practice, text, natural sciences and ecology to address issues of the future sustainability of the planet. Terms familiar from art and museology such as custodianship, ownership and stewardship, become both illustration and metaphor in regard to the need to address the future life of the world around us.
Within this broad field of enquiry, specific ideas and imagery become conduits for provocations as to how we understand and express the issues. For example, with the whale as subject she takes in the recent history and myth making around the creature, from the story of ‘Moby Dick’ to current debates about its sustainability and the biodiversity of the oceans.
'Cockayne uses found objects to create provocative assemblies of discarded bottles and gannets' wings, human hair and antique rifles and lobster-clawed women. Beautiful and disturbing, they concern the natural world and the human predicament.' Philip Hoare
'Every day nature offers us beautiful objects that we fail to appreciate because we see them only in the too-familiar context of their mundane roles. By taking them out of their usual contexts, Angela Cockayne makes us see them afresh, and in the process, creates an endearing whimsical bestiary all her own.' Desmond Morris