Tessa Farmer is participating in a new exhibit, “The Red Queen,” opening on June 18 at MONA, Australia. Using Lewis Carroll’s character, the Red Queen, as a starting point, the exhibition interrogates how art relates to the evolution of species.

The Red Queen
MONA Museum of Old and New Art
Hobart, Tasmania
June 18, 2013 to April 21, 2014

ArtsHub spoke with Tessa about her installation, read more below:


By Paul Isbel, Tuesday June 4 2013

The Red Queen asks why we make art. Sculptor Tessa Farmer’s fairies may have one answer in their microworld of evolution in action.

The Red Queen wants to know what drives us to make art and how it serves our survival as a species. English sculptor Tessa Farmer has spent a month at MONA creating a commissioned work that adds to the answers 46 artists have for the curious queen in the upcoming exhibition that opens on June 18.

Her installations freeze evolution in action. In macabre mise-en-scènes, gangs of skeletal fairies contest real creatures for the right to rule a microworld that is a mirror of our own. Anatomy and entomology lend scientific credibility to the narratives to tip them from fantasy to a very-near reality. That blurred boundary can be a challenge to new viewers. ‘If people haven’t seen my work before, they see the insects and they see the fairies and they try to work out what kind of insect they are,’ Farmer observes. ‘I think that’s a good response because that leads into this state of wonder fuelled by curiosity. Once they realize the fairies are kind of humanoid in terms of representation, they shrink themselves down to that scale because we can’t help but do that and then engage with the narrative. My aim is to tell a story really. It’s like an action-packed scene that has been frozen, so I want the viewer to reanimate it in their mind.’

To read the full article online, click here.

Find more information about the exhibit here.