Gone to Seed
by Claire Morgan
The MAC, Belfast
Comprising hundreds of nylon threads, a taxidermy carrion crow and over a thousand thistle seeds, Claire Morgan’s Gone to Seed is breathtaking. Hidden in the Mac’s Sunken Gallery, this stunning installation only takes up an eight foot square of the space but radiates to each of the drab grey concrete walls. The gallery itself has been forgotten about until now, with it’s counterparts, the Upper Gallery and the Tall Gallery stealing the limelight since the MAC’s opening.
Claire Morgan’s career has grown, like her art, organically. Belfast born, Morgan graduated in Art and Design from the University of Ulster. She then moved to the north of England and completed her BA in Fine Art Sculpture at the University of Northumbria, achieving a first class honours degree. Since graduating Morgan has pursued a career solely as a visual artist and in 2004 she was awarded the Royal British Society of Sculptors Annual Bursary and Roy Noakes Awards for Come Fly With Me – a work that involved painstakingly repetitive and precise processes.She has continued to explore this way of working, and her diverse range of materials are an integral part of her practice.
First exhibited at the National Centre for Craft and Design in Lincolnshire, Gone to Seedcommunicates Morgan’s ongoing exploration of the human condition. Citing nature and minimalism, in that order, as her two main influences there is a formalist and mathematical structure to her work. Her intense interest in nature, its fragility and the fleeting character of existence are apparent in this installation. Gone to Seed consists of many hundreds of nylon threads suspended from the ceiling, to which over a thousand thistle seeds are glued to, Morgan creates two perfectly formed spheres which appear broken by the trajectory of a falling crow. Fragile, beautiful, and carefully constructed, Gone to Seed lets the viewer both marvel at the beauty of Morgan’s craftsmanship and explore their own relationship with the materials.
Gone to Seed reveals a state between movement and stillness. It never appears static, yet never moving. The delicate seeds and diaphanous nylon threads gently float in mid-air, evoking this installation’s fragility and further reinforce Morgan’s notion that human beings like everything else in the natural world are fragile.