Exhibition / 13 Jan – 3 Feb 2018

Consumed: Stilled Lives

Dawn Woolley

Consumed: Stilled Lives
© Dawn Woolley

Extraordinary, and at times shocking, still life images connecting the consumer and the act of consuming will go on show in Penarth in January. The exhibition features new work by Cardiff-based artist Dawn Woolley, and runs from 13 January to 3 February 2018 at Ffotogallery’s Turner House gallery. The exhibition preview is at 6pm on Friday 12 January and includes the artist in conversation with David Drake, Ffotogallery’s Director.

Woolley is a visual artist who uses photography, video, installation and performance. The exhibition provides a contemporary take on the traditional concept of still life painting, which grew in popularity in the 16th and 17thcenturies. Often featuring silver plates, ornate glassware and expensive foodstuffs such as shellfish and exotic fruit, still life paintings became a fashionable way for the Dutch and Flemish to illustrate their wealth.

As the artist states: “The term ‘consume’ describes the act of eating as well as purchasing a commodity. The still life table expresses this dual meaning because the objects on display are edible and indicate an individual’s social position.

I therefore approach the still life table as a portrait of a particular type of consumer. This allows me to view food in a still life as an expression of a relation between an individual and consumer society, and a symbol of the effect commodity consumption has on the consumer’s body.”

Consumed: Stilled Lives is part of a year long series of special exhibitions, projects and events celebrating Ffotogallery 40th anniversary.