Observations: Angolan adventures stuffed and on show
Zoe Pilger is an art critic for The Independent and winner of the 2011 Frieze International Writers Prize. Her first novel, Eat My Heart Out, will be published by Serpent's Tail in February 2014. She is also researching a PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London, on the subject of romantic love and sadomasochism in the work of contemporary female artists. She has appeared on BBC's The Review Show and Sky News
Saturday 26 May 2012
Percy Powell-Cotton ("The Major") was a 19th-century "hunter and collector"; the lion that nearly mauled him to death is displayed here, stuffed, along with a staggering array of other animals, frozen in naturalistic tableaux of attack and retreat. The Major's daughters, Antoinette and Diana, enjoyed a fittingly eccentric childhood, roaming the grounds of Quex House, which, like the museum, is crammed with extravagant objects, ranging from Hindu shrines to Napoleon's clock. But of course the question begs itself: at what price were these riches acquired?
TALA! (meaning "come and see") combines the Powell-Cotton sisters' immense collection of Angolan artefacts with contemporary Angolan artists' work. Among the 3,000 objects hauled back: dolls, butter pots, a "divinity container" filled with bird bones, horns, cocoons, claws, and a hoof.
TALA! Visions of Angola, Powell-Cotton Museum, Birchington, Kent (quexmuseum.org) to 2 November
Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Strictly Come Dancing results: Steve Backshall and Ola Jordan sent home
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Why are the words 'mongol', 'mongoloid' and 'mongy' still bandied about as insults?
Tom DeLonge compares streaming music to killing elephants
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage of Lana Del Rey rape video
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'