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Art review: Little Deities

March 11, 2012

So this isn’t so much a review as reposting the listing I wrote for this show in Three Thousand, but still, if you’re in Melbourne and can get to No Vacancy before March 18th I would recommend going to see it. This is what I wrote:

Little Deities is an exhibition that claims to showcase sixty tiny gods, which of course is a ridiculous concept; as we all know, there is only one Lord, the Prince of Demons and Ruler of All Darkness, Almighty Beelzebub. Instead, this show is a collection of dolls from op shops, each one customised by one of sixty different artists to specifically act as an object of religious reverence in the home – perhaps taking the place of another item such as a crucifix, ritual utensil, murti, or framed photo of Lily Serna from Letters And Numbers.

By asking so many fine artists, illustrators, animators and designers to take part in this theological version of upcycling, curator Daniel Atkinson has awoken an impressive range of Godlike beings. Marijka Gooding’s simian overlord The Handsome Monkey King is “the God of Minor Pranks”, Amz Kelso’s aquatic idol Bubba Koi (pictured above) is “the Spirit Guide of all the flushed/mistreated goldfish in the world”, while Atkinson’s own contribution could well be the Supreme Being for jaundiced Village People everywhere.

As well as those mentioned above, having seen the show, I also particularly liked the deities by Andrea Innocent, Suzie Byrne, Simone Bennett, Annette Phillips, Kate Moon, Sacha Bryning, Shannon Keane and this little guy by Marta Tesoro. I think my favourite, though, was The God Of Time And Space by Nathanael Scott – if I had a spare $300 I’d want to get him glowing on my mantelpiece as soon as possible. (Image courtesy of Scott’s blog Beard Fear – thanks/apologies to him.)


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