Wild Things: Art for the imaginations of children

Group show
Nov 22 to Dec 24
Michael KennedyFishing for Donuts.

Maurice Sendak, the children’s author, wrote: 'Children do live in fantasy and reality; they move back and forth very easily in a way that we no longer remember how to do'.

'Wild Things', a Black Asterisk group show, encourages children and adults alike to merge imagination and reality through the display of otherworldly creatures and alternative worlds. A combination of styles and mediums mix literary, surreal, and fantasy influence with individual artistic vision.

Model sculptural worlds created by Markus Hofko present characters suspended from the ceiling on peculiar islands. Simone Anderson's pack of foxes stare at us with innocent doe eyes, yet skulk and lurk seemingly with menacing intent. The whimsical creatures of Michael Kennedy fish for donuts in a surreal seascape. Sarah Jansen’s life size Guardians crawl across the floor as if recently emerged from a watery underworld. Infant alligators slither about feminine deities as they sit regally on the wall, in Vivien Masters portraits, exploring the costume and symbolism of 15th century religious painting.

Strange creatures, always present in oral storytelling, fables, and fairy tales, morph as they are relayed through various cultures, across time. Our fascination with invented creatures continues in popular culture through fantasy, horror, and science fiction. It has been suggested that these creatures are projected creations of the good and bad forces of the psyche; such stories provide a space where the struggle between these forces can be resolved and occasionally bestow emotional catharsis.

‘Wild Things’ allows us to create our own stories. Whimsical and imaginative with a touch of darkness, for a limited time Black Asterisk will be transformed into another world. The exhibition aims to entertain and excite children, and remind older ones how to once again move effortlessly between lives of fantasy and reality.