We finished 2018 with a retrospective exhibition of work made over a 14 year period including recent costume and film work that Caroline made for a commission at the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture. The exhibition was accompanied by a very good written summary of the work made by Cabinet of Curiosity Studio, focusing on Caroline's unique practice in textiles, costumes and performance:
"The work and practice of Caroline Collinge, under the guise of the Cabinet of Curiosity Studio, is exemplary in designing and making as a critical way of exploring the thematics of ideas and techniques. Installations, artefacts, art works, photography, illustration, costumes, performance and film are all taken up equally as both medium and media for testing and experimentation, producing new and intriguing forms which are as insightful and meticulous as they are exuberant and magical.
Movement, motion and the relationship of costume to the body are key motifs throughout the work, exploring spatiality, aesthetics and the spectacle to enchant and surprise. Several of the works can perhaps be considered to be architectural; constructed and habitable for the performances or installations they were originally conceived for. Underpinning all this is a meticulousness in processing and understanding techniques related to textiles, paper folding, origami forms and katagami stencils. In adopting key symbols or drawing out the dynamics of storytelling, distinctive links are made throughout the works displayed here.
Taken together as a body of work the exhibits displayed in Anatomica remind us of the strength in seemingly ephemeral forms. It also confirms the explorative potential of how materials and techniques inhabit a world now seemingly in thrall to the digitised screen. Yet the magic of human touch in creating these works, mediated through the power of thinking through making, continues to enthral, engage and entice in a way digitisation can only be a poor imitator of. Anatomica celebrates these and is an indicator of what yet may be achieved."
Nathaniel Dafydd Beard, Fashion academic and writer.
Hopefully 2019 will offer more opportunities and commissions where we can develop our practice further.
Photographs by Rikard Osterlund / Rochester Art Gallery