Artist Fiona Pardington talks about her work We Dream of Gentle Morpheus 2010 which features in the exhibition Fiona Pardington: A Beautiful Hesitation, on show at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki from 5 March – 19 June 2016.

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Audio and transcripts available in English and Mandarin. 

Video available in New Zealand Sign Language.

These works are a composite of images that I made at different museums while I was working on a laureate project for the Quai Branly Museum in Paris. It was a pretty fantastic escapade for me because I had access to so many other museums. From left to right in this image you can see a very dejected looking human foetal skeleton, you can see an opium jar, this opium jar is really huge actually it’s about a couple of feet high, it isn’t a small one. Then you can see a conjoined deer skeleton and finally a blue bust of a man that was cast, and he was alive, during Dumont d'Urville’s last voyage to the South Pacific in the 1840s.

I decided to bring these completely distinct objects together in a type of dream sequence which could be expanded upon and elaborated over a larger grouping from which these works came. I had a very luxurious time because in these museums there were so many different peculiar, beautiful, strange and outrageous objects. The baby skeleton is from a very interesting small medical museum in Rouen called the Flaubert Medical Museum. The Flaubert family were all doctors and surgeons, though when we think of Flaubert, we think of the writer - so in fact he was the odd one out he was the man that stood out the rest of them were surgeons.

这些作品是我在为巴黎的布朗利河博物馆做一个项目时,从其他众多的大小博物馆中选择并拍摄的。 这对于我来说是一个十分奇妙的旅程,因为我可以自由地出入于各大博物馆。从左到右,你可以看到一个有些悲伤色彩的婴儿骨骼,然后你可以看到一个装着鸦片的罐子,这个罐子其实很大,大约有两英尺高,并非照片里看起来那么小。然后你可以看到一具拼合而成的鹿骨,再然后则是一个男子的半身像,在制作这座半身像时他还健在,他是1840年代勒儒迪蒙迪维尔在南太平洋的最后一次航行中的船员。

我决定把这些没有关联的物件糅合到一起,创造一种如梦似幻的效果,这组作品是开放式的,还可以不断地有新的照片加入进去,使得它更加庞大。我在这些博物馆中有目不暇给的感觉,因为它们藏有如此之多奇异,美丽,怪诞,和荒谬的物件。 婴儿的骸骨被藏于一个叫做福楼拜医学博物馆的很有意思的小型医学博物馆,福楼拜家族的大多数人都是医学工作者,然而当我们提到“福楼拜” 的时候,我们只会联想到那位著名的作家。所以作家福楼拜是家族的异类,也是家族最卓著的人。