Lana de Jager - 'Minerals & Memory'

Wednesday 2 - Saturday 19 December 2020 

Click here for artwork by Lana de Jager

"For years, I have been taking photos of insects, birds and larger animals in my natural environment. These include living animals (eg a Tawny Frogmouth Owl at the local vet) as well as discovered deceased animals (eg a wombat along the road to my house). The gorgeous landscapes of their fur, feathers or scales are worth recording and, although I initially thought of simply honouring each creature, it soon became obvious that I was also seeking to reanimate them.

Another element of the work is the fact that there is more that unites us than sets us apart. For all living creatures existence is twofold: physical and recollected.

(a) our bodies are made of minerals and elements that will exist forever, recycling infinitely; we are delivered into existence using carbon, gold, silver, hydrogen - all the elements and atoms that are needed to make up the body of a creature. Every mineral and element on the earth will exist forever. It cannot be destroyed and instead recycles infinitely.

(b) our history is told though stories - recycling memories of a once living thing.
Much of history is not known. The existence of some things cannot be looked up in a book or online. This fox, that rabbit - they do not exist anywhere else but in memory. Google a wombat you saw in our paddock and you’ll find nothing. No trace. And people have become animals that need facts - facts to correct memories instead of facts that take memory into regard. Facts never take into consideration what makes an impression - like the magnificence of a creature - but memory does.

In these two ways creatures might live forever.

The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.

Lana de Jager, October 2020