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Work of the Week | 8 November 2021

CAG.3099 Peter Nash, Domestic Animal, 2018, found timber, carved beechwood, steel wire, lace pins, 33 x 58 x 22 cm. Purchased, 2021. © the artist.

It’s Science Week (7-14 November)! This year’s focus is on ‘Creating Our Future’ so we’re dedicating this WORK OF THE WEEK to creativity and an artist’s response to museum specimens!

At first glance, Domestic Animal (2018) by Peter Nash may seem to be out of place in an art gallery as it appears to be the skeleton of a small mammal, perhaps a cat (Felis catus). On closer inspection, however, this specimen proves to be an intricately carved beechwood sculpture. Although demonstratively not alive, it still appears agile and poised to pounce!

Imbued with the artist’s characteristic humour, this was first shown in The Paradise of The Heart, an exhibition at TACTIC Gallery (Elizabeth Fort, Cork). In his rendering of Domestic Animal – as with his drawings (such as Alternative Anatomies) and etchings – Nash explores human fallibility in an age of digital perfection, alternative facts, and increasing automation.

Peter Nash (b.1981) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Cork. Originally from Carlisle in the northwest of England, his practice includes drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. His work “embraces a deliberately hand-made aesthetic, and draws on influences including fairy tales, reference books and museum exhibits.” A graduate of Sheffield Hallam University and Crawford College of Art & Design, he is a studio member of the Backwater Artists Group and Cork Printmakers.

Domestic Animal (2018) by Peter Nash is featured in MENAGERIE: Animals by Artists (Floor 1) until 6 March.

Tune in to The Arts House on Cork’s 96FM and C103 Cork every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with assistant curator Michael Waldron about a work from the collection!

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