The exhibition Metastasis is an exploration of the artist’s anxiety in relation to social ecology, urban sprawl and the environment. Through a series of installations and sculptures, Toohey draws direct comparison between the human pattern of malignant urbanism, mass consumption and depletion of natural resources back to the spread of a disease. Each piece, through their laborious and repetitive construction, mimics the social phenomenon of mass production, depletion and sprawl.
Toohey seeks to blur the distinctions between art and science, borrowing from the aesthetic of the biological and the bacterial to create a macabre flora and fauna. The man-made quality and incorporation of artificial and natural materials allude to organic forms from which they borrow, but exemplify the collision of the synthetic and organic. Metastasis is emblematic of humankind’s beautiful destructiveness, simultaneously seductive and grotesque.
“Hannah Toohey’s practice investigates the resonance of materiality, making the abject palatable through a dark beauty of texture and form. Her installations intelligently beguile our perceptions of desire and abhorrence.”
— Lizzy Marshall, independent curator and Public Arts Officer, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre