The new exhibition at the Castlefield Gallery is a small wonder in many respects. Miniature World encapsulates many aspects of the search for better understanding of the world around us, in many different mediums showing the small steps to the bigger picture. The exhibition holds artefacts and diagrams of scientific concepts, miniature models of fantastical scenes, and more close-to-reality situations. It is these models depicting scenes closest to my own heart that captured my imagination.
Claire Tindale’s exhibits holds tiny models of ‘behind the scenes’ medical equipment which looks at the roles involved in taking care of dementia patients. The models are accompanied by scaled down versions of the rooms created from the memories of the patients, which makes the models — that by themselves can be clinical — really come to life. As the rooms are empty, it brought to mind the sense of loss that dementia can bring to patients and to their families, as well as to those working closely with them. I think anyone with a connection to the disease would find this part of the exhibition particularly interesting.
Another fascinating collection of pieces was created by Iain Andrews, an array of monsters, figurines, and the paintings they inspired based on folk tales and biblical narratives. His beautifully historical style of painting and the traditional themes surrounding them are in juxtaposition with the strange creatures that have been modelled and painted into them. Altogether, the images created are thought provoking — the longer you look at them the more detail you find raising more questions rather than providing answers.
The exhibition as a whole is odd, it is hard to find a link that would put each collection under the same title. Whilst each artist’s collection is intriguing and stunning in its own right, the ensemble seems disjointed. Regardless, I would recommend this exhibition to anyone looking to think deeply about the world around them as it was all I could think about for hours after leaving.
The Castlefield Gallery is showing the collection until the 22nd of January 2017 and I may be visiting again before it leaves.