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OktoLab19 : a gallery of octopus aesthetics


An innovative contribution to explorations of the octopus by approaching the animal through the lens of the creative arts

Start Date

Dec 13, 2019 12:00 pm

End Date

Jan 25, 2020 5:00 pm


Plimsoll Gallery, School of Creative Arts and Media

OktoLab19 : a gallery of octopus aesthetics

OktoLab19 brings together artists, writers and scientists to investigate octopuses in all their extraordinary glory. The exhibition aims is to contribute new ways of understanding and conceptualizing octopuses, in respect to their being-in-the-world and our perception of them, as well as re-evaluating the rich cultural history of the octopus. The responses to this curatorial brief by OktoLab19 participants are as complex, fascinating, diverse and wonderful as the eight-armed animals that have been their inspiration.

Artist: Burton Nitta (Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta)  Title: Altered Ways of Being  Medium/Material(s): Digital media, 360 film, VR  Dimensions: variable  Date: 2019  All rights reserved © 2019 Burton NittaHörner/Antlfinger  Oceanopolis_Aquarium  Installation, light-boxes, photography, sound  Dimensions variable  2019  Image Courtesy Hörner/AntlfingermOwson&M0wson   feeler  Latex, string, hangers, LED light strips, electronics.  3m x 3m  2019  Image courtesy mOwson&M0wsonMadison Bycroft  Bureau of Neutrality and the Half sung (2016)  Three Channel digital video, Colour, Sound, 23:00  2016  Image courtesy of the artist
Mike Singe  Searching for Octopus in the Amazon  Digital video Duration: 11 minutes  2019  Image courtesy of the artist Natalie Ryan  Giant Squid (blue velvet)  Gypsum-based acrylic resin, prosthetic eyes, fibres  190 x 40 x 18cm  2019  Image Courtesy of the artist NEOZOON  CEPHALISATION  Video Installation  Dimensions variable  2019 – 2020  Image courtesy NEOZOON / Courtesy the artist Pony Express  Tentacular Embassy  Printed objects, knife display, customized life vests.  Dimensions variable  2019  Image courtesy Pony Express, developed from materials created with support from CONSTANCE ARI and Dr. Beth Fulton 

Exhibiting artists: Madison Bycroft;  mOwson& M0wson; Neozoon; Hörner/Antlfinger; Burton-Nitta; Mike Singe, Pony Express; Natalie Ryan; Jayson Semmens.

Writers: Rachel Bailey, Peter Godfrey Smith, Erin Hortle

Curatorium: Yvette Watt and Toby Juliff (University of Tasmania, Australia), André Krebber and Maike Riedinger (University of Kassel, Germany); Anne Hölck (independent scenographer and curator, Germany)

Opening event: Friday 13 Dec, 5.00 – 7:00 pm
Exhibition dates: Sat 14 Dec 2019 – Sat 25 Jan 2020

Summer opening hours
closed between: 23 Dec 2019 – 1 Jan 2020
Wed - Sun 12pm - 5pm (during exhibitions)
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Public holidays.

Plimsoll Gallery Manager: Jane Barlow
Install team: Anna Eden, Josh Prouse, Dave Nelson and Jose Vicente Garcia Cesar.

Download catalogue


11 January: All day symposium of artist talks, readings, and presentations, plus a special live performance by Madison Bycroft.


Media articles and links:

Preview: 15 Tasmanian shows not to miss over summer - download PDF

ABC RADIO Interview ( 2h,02m)

Channel 7 news   (8.20)

Image credits (L-R): Burton Nitta (Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta), Altered Ways of Being, Digital media, 360 film, VR , dimensions variable, 2019, All rights reserved © 2019 Burton Nitta; Hörner/AntlfingerVisiting Octopus, Océanopolis, aquarium of the octopus, Installation, light-boxes, sound, dimensions variable, 2019, Image Courtesy Hörner/Antlfinger; mOwson&M0wson, feeler, Latex, string, hangers, LED light strips, electronics, 3m x 3m, 2019, Image courtesy mOwson&M0wson; Madison BycroftRises and refusals (Thetis), single channel digital video, colour, sound, 23:25, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist;  Mike SingeSearching for Octopus in the Amazon, Digital video, Duration: 11 minutes, 2019, Image courtesy of the artist; Natalie RyanGiant Squid (blue velvet), Gypsum-based acrylic resin, prosthetic eyes, fibres, 190 x 40 x 18cm, 2019, Image Courtesy of the artist; NEOZOONCephalization, Video Installation, dimensions variable, 2019 – 2020, Image courtesy NEOZOON / Courtesy the artist; Pony ExpressTentacular Embassy, Printed objects, knife display, customized life vests, dimensions variable, 2019, Image courtesy Pony Express, developed from materials created with support from CONSTANCE ARI and Dr. Beth Fulton

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