The Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery
Tamara Henderson’s practice draws inspiration from the itinerant life of the artist, where international exhibitions and residencies mean continual relocations and dislocations. Henderson’s work is notable not only for its agile movement across installation, painting, film, sculpture and, more recently, performance, but also for the way in which certain works are themselves conceived as journeys of transformation.
During a residency at Hospitalfield, Arbroath, Scotland (2015), Henderson developed Seasons End, a multi-part installation that has been staged in Glasgow, Istanbul, Ontario, Dublin, Los Angeles and London. During Henderson’s travels to, from and between these sites, she accumulated an assortment of objects and materials. These range from fabrics bought in Athens and dyed with plants gathered on a Greek island to objects crafted using material from the Bay of Fundy mudflats in Nova Scotia, USA.
Camera is one of the works that make up Seasons End’s cast of human-like figures robed in colourful, embroidered costumes and wearing hand-made shoes. The work constructs a personal cosmology out of a set of invented characters who appear poised to traverse borders – be they physical or spiritual. Henderson’s voyagers weave together an intensely personal story of travel between countries and states of being, of material alchemy and transformation, and of slipping between worlds, particularly from the world of matter and flesh to one that is ‘out of body’. Henderson is also inspired by themes of illness, mortality and mourning that are universally accessible. Her own experience of bereavement informs her interest in the various medical, holistic and ritualistic ways of perceiving the human body that are alluded to throughout the work.
Seasons End has particular resonance for The Hunterian, where anatomical and scientific collections coexist with works of art in all media, and Camera is a window into the fascinating cosmos Henderson is creating and recreating in her practice.
Tamara Henderson (b. 1982, New Brunswick, Canada) lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (both 2018); Rodeo, London (2017); Tate Liverpool, Liverpool; Glasgow International (both 2016). Recent group exhibitions include Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva; Tate St Ives (both 2018); Vancouver Art Gallery (2016).
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2018/19