In her first solo exhibition in Christchurch, Dunedin-based artist Bekah Carran transforms The Physics Room’s project space into a shining beacon of hope with her new installation welcome home my beautiful optimist. Carran has constructed a shelter in the space, it is a meticulously crafted geodesic dome. She invites viewers to enter this home away from home, to take time out. It is a resting place for the weary.
Dome housing was big in the 1970s, when some believed it would be the way of the future, where all houses would be dome constructions. The naïve idealism of ‘energetic-synergetic geometry’ and free living never took off as anticipated, and through its own entropic combustion, these dreams died a natural death during the 1980s scramble for power and status. Carran’s installation asks us to leave the imminent threats that surround us (like terrorism, bird flu, floods, etc.) at the door. She tests whether in a world increasingly fuelled by anxiety and fear - where sarcasm is more real than sincerity - it is possible to once again embrace aspects of this nostalgic idealism to create a better way of living.
welcome home my beautiful optimist is hopeful. It is a place for us to dream, and to celebrate the simple things in life. It’s quiet, meditative function within the gallery is like panning for gold, it’s a shining spot of goodness, a breath of fresh air where the bad times can be forgotten - even if only temporarily.
Bekah Carran has a BFA from Otago Polytechnic School of Fine Art, and is currently a member of the Blue Oyster Gallery Trust. In 2003 she was the Olivia Spencer Bower Artist in Residence in Christchurch. Recent exhibitions include Welcome to Paradise, Dunedin Public Art Gallery; breathing space, The Physics Room; and Prospect 2004, City Gallery Wellington.
Reviews, Essays & Articles
artbash.co.nz retrieved 19/05/06
Safety for a while
Art Reviews, The Press, 24 May 2006
welcome home my beautiful optimist
Volume issue five