Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art’s Gallery 1 staged a five month run of Marlie Mul’s This Exhibition Has Been Cancelled
Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art’s Gallery 1 staged a five month run of Marlie Mul’s This Exhibition Has Been Cancelled

Victorian curiosity is back on display after 25 years

A rare Victorian fern case is being displayed for the first time in over 25 years, in a new exhibition at the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art.

Kent born artist Aaron Angell has put together a new series of works including ceramic sculpture, inflatables, painting, Victorian furniture and plant life to create an ‘anachronistic’ interior.
At the centre of the exhibition is Glasgow Museums’ Wardian Case.

It was conserved especially for the exhibition and is to be fully planted with a range of ferns and mosses in a style reminiscent of its original display in the mid-nineteenth century.

One of the very few surviving, original Wardian Cases, the piece was built a stone’s throw from GoMA and dates from around 1860. It is without doubt one of the finest ever made.

Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art’s Gallery

Aaron Angell said: ‘The centrepiece of this show is just about the most Victorian object ever manufactured. It has it all; fetishisation of the most stolid aspects of the classical world; the bondage of wildness and growth; even the concealed sexual organs of the ferns and mosses themselves.

‘It is also, almost by mistake, a prototype for the radical biotopic architecture of the mid-20th century.’

Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor David McDonald, said: ‘It’s exciting to engage with an artist like Aaron who has taken time to delve into the city’s extensive collection and in doing so has rediscovered a beautiful Wardian case.

‘Working with Aaron has allowed us to refocus our attention on a truly visually stimulating object, one which hasn’t been on show for quite some time and bring it back to life for the public to enjoy.’
Alongside the case will be four new sculptures – a piece of inflatable furniture filled with a mock hypocaust heating system, a methane ‘sewer’ gas lamp, a cabbage and a cinerary urn.

The lamp will feature the four pipe form that occurs throughout Angell’s recent work and a sconce modelled on a Roman coin.

Ceramic works, made shortly after Angell’s recent residency at the Leach Pottery in St Ives, are based on the profile of Roman cineraria or cinerary urns intended for the remains of married couples.

The exhibition runs until 18 March.

Angell studied at the Slade School of Art and is the founder of Troy Town Art Pottery. He lives and works in London.