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m0wson&MOwson’s work ‘feeler’ is a breathtaking installation of dismembered octopus tentacles exploring motherhood and reproductive manipulation and control of non-human life forms. Here, lynn mowson shares her and Bruce Mowson’s careful process of constructing the work and its relationship to octopuses. 

“Each limb is hand cast, a laborious process of gradually layering 7-8 coats of latex and embedding layers of precast latex patterns and tissue. Latex is a natural material that deteriorates. Like the skin that it resembles, it will age and decay. In effect, it has its own lifespan. This is part of the attraction and methodology of the work, a methodology which incorporates an ongoing labour of care.

The texture of these works is created from latex ‘bio-fabricated skins.’  These fabrics were inspired by my research into biotechnology, and include microscopic images of cellular pathogens such as mastitis. The skins reference the beauty and the wonder in the way octopuses can manipulate the texture of their skin and colour, but also of course the ugliness of our continued intervention and exploitation of animals by the biotechnology industries.” lynn mowson.

Images: Left – Testing out the hanging and lighting system in the studio. Right – ‘feeler’ work in progress. In the foreground some of the moulds used to create the texture on the limbs, in the background the two feeler limb moulds and the egg-forms. Images courtesy of the artists. 

Click here to find out more about the Experimenta Life Forms exhibition and artists.