Showcasing the talent of Fehily Contemporary's artists
Last year, a Dutch entrepreneur announced plans to establish a permanent base on Mars, inviting members of the public to apply for a one-way trip there. More than 200,000 people from applied en masse for the opportunity to start again in a world without a trace of life – and with no chance of return.
For Stardust in our Veins, her new solo exhibition at Fehily Contemporary, Kate Shaw teases out this enduring fascination with interplanetary colonisation and what it might mean. Through a series of vibrant, psychedelic landscapes, she suggests these yearnings are a complicated combination of hope for new beginnings and a sense of hopelessness about a planet we seem certain we'll lose.
Following her travels from the frozen fjords of Iceland to the dense jungles of Costa Rica, Shaw presents here a series of imagined landscapes of the Red Planet. Formed by acrylic paint pours, these sparkling and marbled otherworldly vistas possess a transcendent but troubling beauty.
"I am concurrently exploring the sublime in nature whilst imbuing a sense of toxicity and artificiality in this depiction," Shaw has said. "The intention is to reflect upon the contradiction between our inherent connection to the natural world and continual distancing from it." Nowhere is this approach more pronounced than in Stardust in our Veins, with a move to Mars representing the ultimate distancing from the natural world and, perhaps, a new connection to a new one.