Zabludowicz Collection is pleased to present Holy Bark a solo exhibition by London-based artist Victor Seaward. Touching on histories of medicine, trade and industrialisation through digitally rendered objects, Seaward weaves narrative through commonplace objects and organic forms.
A collection of subtlety arranged sculptural works integrate naturally across the exhibition space. From a slice of white bread to life-sized insects, the works employ trompe l’oeil tactics to demystify the perceived value of the often discarded materials of our everyday. Requiring a close inspection due to their uncanny nature, Seaward’s source materials are embedded with the histories of technological, empirical and global manufacture.
The installation centres on the artist’s recent sculpture Oracle (Nocturne), a shell-like form hanging from an architectural beam. Rendered using 3D modeling software and then 3D printed, the vessel encloses a gelatinized tonic water that fluoresces under UV light due to its quinine content. Brought to Europe by the Spanish Jesuits in the seventeenth century, used as an anti-malarial treatment for British soldiers in colonial India, to a key ingredient in the now classic gin & tonic, quinine weaves connections between medicine and empire.
Responding to the complexity of manufacture, Holy Bark also highlights the back-stories of white bread, socks, and Wedgewood Jasperware – once reserved for the elite, these now commonplace objects over saturate contemporary markets. In mapping a leap from exclusivity to hyper-ubiquity, Seaward reveals the human ingenuity of his mundane source material through an advanced technological fabrication. Intersecting histories across natural remedies and industrialisation, the exhibition points to the slippages across digital, natural and consumable goods.