Alice Mussared

Bachelor of Contemporary Art

This work is inspired by eggshells cast off from hatched birds, candled eggs, and the process of incubation and hatching birds. The installation is a mixture of experiments and paintings to demonstrate connections between different formal aspects of eggs. I hope to capture the paradoxical – at once soft and hard – qualities of the egg, emphasising analogies to both intimate, bodily qualities and landscapes and emergent fractal properties.

I grew up around birds. I have wonderful family memories of ‘hatching days’, and eggshells have a strong emotional resonance with me.

I aim to indicate empathetic familiarity via the evocation of veins and membranes. Simultaneously, the fractal-like forms suggest Earth systems and landscapes. Set against the tiny, intimate subject matter, these ‘landscapes’ reflect the wider context of this seemingly personal relationship: a world that is mapped and shaped by human activity.

Our love for animals is ancient and profound. Some of the earliest art on historical record depicts animals – detailed cave drawings that dance in flickering torch light. Humans have long depicted animals and their emblems with reverence and loving detail. The complex associations we have with animals, of both appreciation and exploitation, paint a strange picture of our place in ‘nature’.

In a world humans are irreversibly shaping, this work aims to serve as a love letter to the egg, to birds, and everything that we animals still share.

crylics on canvas and wood panel, egg shells, wax, paper, watercolour, plaster