Saturday, May 28, 2011

Zoia: Cthulhu in Southwark Street?

The current exhibition at the Menier Gallery (Southwark Street SE1), features very striking work by Ukrainian-born artist Zoia Skoropadenko. The subject matter of the Torso photographs is composed from seafood (octopus to be precise), assembled to resemble the human body.

© Zoia Skoropadenko

Not surprizingly this put me in mind of HP Lovecraft, the photographs conjuring up the nightmarish beings of the Cthulhu mythos. Perhaps Cthulhu himself with his 'awful squid-head with writhing feelers', or the strange creatues found by scientists in Lovecraft's story At The Mountains of Madness:

'Single stalks three inches diameter branch after six inches into five substalks, each of which branches after eight inches into small, tapering tentacles or tendrils, giving each stalk a total of twenty-five tentacles. At top of torso blunt, bulbous neck of lighter gray, with gill-like suggestions, holds yellowish five-pointed starfish-shaped apparent head covered with three-inch wiry cilia of various prismatic colors. Head thick and puffy, about two feet point to point, with three-inch flexible yellowish tubes projecting from each point. Slit in exact center of top probably breathing aperture. At end of each tube is spherical expansion where yellowish membrane rolls back on handling to reveal glassy, red-irised globe, evidently an eye'.

(I believe today is the last day of the exhibition)

1 comment:

Scott Wood said...

Weirdly I'm reading Hazel Heald's story 'The Horror in the Museum' in the first Pan Book of Horror at the moment. It's about a creepy waxworks under a railway arch in Southwark that includes a wax effigy of Cthulu.