Talk about unsettling ... these sculptures by Kate Clark are some of the eeriest things I've seen in a while.
Despite the perfect blurring of human face and animal body, these creatures don't seem to have been born this way. Rather, they have the air of humans transformed with the poetic intensity of an ancient Greek metamorphosis. They exude a distinct philosophical acceptance, a long suffering wistfulness, a calmness that seems hard won after the panic of entrapment has at last subsided.
But then, when reading the stories of Ovid's Metamorphoses or any such tale of transformation, I've always wondered about what it must feel like to realise you have forever become a spider, a bay laurel, or a stream. The finality of a life lost but not finished and the claustrophobic horror of becoming a voiceless tree or rock or a stag. In makes me think of the anguished thrashing of Wikus van der Merwe in the South African alien film District 9 once he realises that, slowly but surely, he is becoming an alien. But panic can't last forever. Evenutally acceptance comes, and a new, ghostly life of the forever transformed begins.