John VELLA

Beauty as the Beast: Creativity, the Exotic and the Dark Side of Desirability

Abstract:

Exotic specimens were once shipped across the world for the purposes of scientific and ‘freakshowcentric’ scrutiny. Their ability to build ‘positive social, educational and economic value’ and ‘generate unprecedented attention…’ catalysed mechanisms that ultimately destroyed (or at the very least deteriorated) their capacity to exist in an indigenous space, place or time. This paper examines the dark side of desirability, the criticality of habitat, and our responsibility to keep the creative beast ‘wild’, as opposed to breeding – if not cloning – it in captivity.

Download Beauty as the Beast: Creativity, the Exotic and the Dark Side of Desirability (1.30 MB)

John VELLA:

John Vella lectured in Painting and Drawing at the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania, from 1998-2000 and was recently appointed as the Acting Head of Sculpture. John has developed independent and collaborative artistic projects that have been exhibited reviewed nationally over the last fifteen years. Vella has been awarded three major competitive commissions through the Art for Public Building Scheme (APBS) and been the recipient of significant, competitive grants from Arts Tasmania and the Australia Council. His work is held in a number of public and private collections. John Vella is represented by Criterion Gallery, Hobart.