TILLA MANYA CHAYA CROWNE

I primarily work with living material, especially growing plants, insects and fungus. Contained within artificially created environments, the work retains an air of experimentation, of the research laboratory, of museum display. I relish the dynamism and constant change that living elements lend to my work. My installations change over the time they are exhibited, so each viewing is unique. Working with multiple layers of meaning and intricate detail, my pieces create worlds into which I invite the viewer to peer.

My aim is to arouse intense curiosity rather than to shock, please or disgust. It is through this sense of inquisitiveness that the viewer is drawn into the work. The artworks obliquely express my preoccupation with my childhood in all its unorthodox and frequently traumatic complexity. I work with images from places I lived as a child, empty rooms, dead sets. Some of these are documentary - found slides of houses, childhood photographs. The majority are reconstructed – I revisited my old house, photographed it in detail and now use these records to draw the house as it was then. The empty rooms, objects and plants are the carriers of memory and events.

Despite my lifelong love of plants, insects and fungus also being rooted in my past, their alien familiarity, their carefully constructed beauty and ultimately their vitality gives my work a freshness and originality that elevates it from the purely autobiographical. One cannot fully control organisms. Once the set-up is complete, they create and transform the works on their own terms, unwitting, untroubled, unmoved.

TILLA MANYA CHAYA CROWNE: ABOUT TILLA