The Directors & Staff of Viktor Wynd Fine Art Inc are delighted to present a new body of work by Tessa Farmer in the Gallery.
The fairies couldn't take the swan by force. It was too large, too powerful. Smaller birds, particularly passerines, are easier to overcome. Using hedgehog spine spears, sea urchin spine clubs, and the stings of captive wasps to kill the creatures, the fairies feast on their flesh and use their feather-light skeletons as flying vessels, hoisted by enslaved beetles and butterflies and bees.
To conquer the swan, which would be more valuable alive, surreptitious methods were necessary. Parasitic fairies laid their eggs into the corners of the bird's eyes, and the larvae burrowed into its brain, eating non essential tissue, until metamorphosing into adult fairies and taking control of this powerful flying machine. Other fairies laid eggs in its skin, causing tumour like eruptions of protective egg cases enclosing the developing fairy larvae.
Chemicals injected through the fairies' ovipositors into the feathers caused them to grow into delicate cylindrical latticed structures which serve well to encage precious weapons such as parasitoid wasps and small, but deadly snakes.
Some of the feather filigree has been plucked from the swan and incorporated into the skull of a sheep which is flown by beetles and butterflies and carries food supplies (insects) contained in the nest of a hornet. The cargo also includes a captured Chilean Rose Tarantula, prized for its ability to flick irritating hairs at potential prey - the fairies encourage this in hunting missions, and skilfully dispatch the distracted animals, sharing the spoils with their pet.
Skull ships and bird skeleton ships make up the rest of the fleet. The ribcages of birds are effective in enclosing aggressive captive insects. Others, used as weapons, such as earwigs and social wasps are tied by their antennae to leg bones and claws. Captive spiders spin silken nets for the fairies, used to capture fast flying, smaller insects.
The fairies command a gang of ants, although their relationship is symbiotic, so they don't need to be imprisoned. The soldier ants, with their large snapping jaws are an excellent first line of defence, and attack, and their smaller sister ants squirt formic acid at enemies or potential prey.
The fairies are coming. Armed, organised and dangerous. Like a column of army ants, they will destroy and devour whatever dares to cross their path.
Tessa Farmer was born in 1978 in Birmingham and lives and works in London. She received a BFA and MFA from the Ruskin School of Drawing andf Fine Art, Oxford University. In 2007 she was artist in residence at The Natural History Museum, London. Recent solo exhibitions include 'Nymphidia' at Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art', London and 'ISAM: Control Over Nature' a collaboration with DJ and producer Amon Tobin at the Crypt Gallery, London. Recent group exhibitions include 'House of Beasts' at Attingham Park (National Trust), Shrewsbury, 'Monanism' at MONA, Tasmania, 'Newspeak: British Art Now', at The Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, The Saatchi Gallery, London and currently at The Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.