Ann-Marie Tully’s art is concerned with the lives of animals, the reciprocal relations of humans and non-humans, and the representation of animal beings. The tendency of human beings to express themselves through the metaphoric and physical vehicle of animal beings is critically considered in this visual body of work including oil paintings, textiles and ceramics.
The Exhibition, Wolf in Sheeps Clothing, debuted at NIROXprojects, Arts on Main, Johannesburg, in June 2013; travelled to the North West University Botanical Garden Gallery in March 2014; and is culminating in an exhibition at the Oliewenhuis Museum in Bloemfontein in February 2015.
A percentage of the sale of artworks goes to the Society for Animals in Distress.
Transcription of Gordon Froud’s opening address to ‘Wolf in sheep’s clothing’ at the Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein | 19:00 | 05 February 2015:
Ann-Marie Tully’s solo exhibition Wolf in sheep’s clothing addresses the animal in many guises, as form, subject, object, and metaphor.
The artist employs animal related terminology as starting points and ironic titles in her work: ‘Wolf in sheep’s clothing’, ‘Dog-eat-dog’, ‘Mugshot and shadow’ (alter egos).
Tully employs a variety of expression: sculptural, ceramic, painting, drawing and monotyping — testament to a highly skilled and cerebral artist. This artist’s work engages with the role of the animal, and the ethics behind our interactions, be it as companion, currency, or even product — seeking to elevate the status of the animal and remind us of our duty towards them, while seeing ourselves in them
Tully’s works engage with humour, social commentary from the everyday mundane to images of war, and significant events of the 20th century. Also in reference to mythology, archetypes, and children’s stories — all of which resonate with us as humans, but use animals as the motif for memory.
Tully also employs art historical references in her practice: from references to the surreal (evident in her uncanny sewing machine assemblages); to her frog and pig ceramic pieces bearing a palimpsest of art historical references from Velázquez’s Las Meninas, to iconic works from artists as diverse as Courbet and Hockney, and images from pre-history (San rock art); to Jeff Koons like re-workings of kitsch objects to create new meaning; and the inclusion of fashion items recontextualised.
The secondary curated show that runs alongside Tully’s solo exhibition, represents a selection of works from the Oliewenhuis collection that employ animal iconography in allegorical modes; including works by Louis Scott, John Muafangejo, Norman Catherine, Cecil Scotnes, Peter Schutz, and Colin Richards. This curated offering serves as a further context for the Wolf in sheep’s clothing exhibition.
I declare this brave, powerful, poignant exhibition, beautifully created, curated, and conceptualised, open.