Special Selection by:
Subject Leader, Photographic and Electronic Media BA (Hons)
Gray's School of Art, Robert Gordon University
Overview: My toddler son is fascinated by animals at the moment: the four legged kind especially. He is so attuned to their characteristics that he often calls out "horsey" or "wuff wuff" long before anyone has even spotted the tell-tale outline in a rough-torn piece of bread or in a tiny illustration buried amongst a clamour of abstract shapes and colours. Such fascination with animals is surely universal - one that is expressed in the earliest cave paintings as well as in religious iconography and even the sounds and concepts that we use to communicate.
Whether in reality or representation animals stare back at us in inscrutable silence. For millennia this mute incomprehensibility has provoked us, sometimes toward acts of celebration and veneration and sometimes towards acts of cruelty and invasive scrutiny. Beverley Cornwell's images talk of this paradoxical relationship of fascination and violence. They speak of hunting and of simulation, of brutality and deathly precision. And in this play of the real and the imagined they refer also to photography's transformation of the real into fiction, of representations into things of ardent fascination. And in those implacable shining surfaces, like eyes that stare back at us, we see only ourselves reflected.