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Jenny Toye
Performance on an Egg

If all the world were paper
And all the seas were ink
And all the trees were bread and cheese
What would we do for drink?
John Mennes 1658

This work is a sneak preview of Jenny's exhibition, Performance on an Egg in November at Warnambool Art Gallery alongside acclaimed illustrator Shaun Tan.

The perfect spheroid form of the egg, being the centre of where all life begin, has fascinated and inspired art and culture for centuries. The oval form of organic symmetry and simplicity and the tactility of its smoothness gives me enjoyment. There is calmness to this form without edge, a subtlety worthy of exploration. These particular Egg Worlds have natural elements with metaphors appearing like cracks in perfection, surfaces juxtaposed with unearthly awry creatures and birds, free to roam about in a world adrift from nature, as we know it.

The works are symbolic of our own world today, where we see the destruction of nature and habitat by people who are not concerned with protection and conservation thus producing an environment in which corruption and greed make us vulnerable. These Egg Worlds are fragile, fine and tenuous with pernicious animals appearing on a perfect world, they are strangers in a familiar environment.

Hieronymus Bosch‘s oeuvre has influenced my work culminating in the exploration of human folly in Performance on an Egg. Bosch’s imagery has become imbued in the development of my sculptural practice throughout time.

I’ve used mainly recycled handmade papers, paper saved from wrapping, bits from toy boxes as well as metals and timber of various types. Working with found and discarded objects and the re purposing of them to me is a small measure in the conserving of our resources.

As David Suzuki said are we to be the only animal on the planet to be the instrument of its own demise?

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