Alastair Mackie: I was there, in Arcadia - picture preview

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The Independent Culture

A new exhibition by Alastair Mackie opens in London tomorrow.

In I was there, in Arcadia at Pertwee Anderson & Gold in Soho, Mackie draws on man’s relationship with nature, challenging our awareness and convictions about the boundaries that separate the two.

His first solo show since Not Waving but Drowning in 2009 at the David Roberts Art Foundation, the exhibition opens with four delicate spherical sculptures displayed under glass cases.

Upon closer inspection, the surface turns out to be intricately composed of hundreds of perfect mouse skulls. The bones were collected and processed from regurgitated barn owl pellets found on and around the artist's family farm.

The title 'I was there, in Arcadia' is taken from the Latin phrase that most famously appears as the title of two pastoral paintings by Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665). The text is usually interpreted as a memento mori.

The exhibition will run until 11 August 2011, for more information visit