Late last year Long & Ryle brought us an exhibition of fairytale sculptures. Their latest exhibition has this theme in common but takes a much darker and subversive approach that’s closer in spirit to the creepy taxidermy of Polly Morgan.
Natalie Meyjes has created dioramas of scenes that you won’t find in any children’s book, including cages made from animal bones and a stuffed fox cub eyeing a bunch of grapes hanging from a hybrid of a crow and a tree!
Not all the works are designed to shock but they are truly bizarre – the crowned dragonfly having a bubble bath being one of the most surreal scenes depicted. Our favourite piece features a bumblebee and butterfly placed in a ring surrounded by a crowd of humans watching the spectacle. This inventiveness is common across all of this exhibition and ensures that the works can be interpreted as both disturbing and playful.
Though there is nothing new in the use of taxidermied animals and preserved insects in art, the innovative staging of the artworks ensures this is an exhibition worth seeing.
Natalie Meyjes: Fairytale is on at Long & Ryle, 4 John Islip Street, SW1P 4PX until 20 April. Admission is free.