“In a world constantly in flux, where everything seen and unseen undergoes an eternal dance of transformation, I draw inspiration from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a narrative driven by the relentless force of change in human history. Enter the realm of meta_Morphosis, a creation that peels back the curtain on the unseen yet ceaseless mutations of virus particles, the enigmatic virions that shape the intricate tapestry of the human biome.
Ovid’s masterful storytelling, where individuals metamorphose into myriad forms, finds its echo in meta_Morphosis. This project breathes life into the perpetual transformation of virions—guardians and disruptors of human existence for centuries. Like a visual symphony, meta_Morphosis weaves a tale of a viral world emerging from apparent chaos, beckoning with rhythmic patterns that captivate the imagination and plunges us into the aesthetic mysteries of the invisible micro-universe. Redefining the sublime, transitioning from the grand, limitless spaces of Romanticism to the sub-cellular realm where quadrillions of particles undergo a breath-taking evolution.”
Elwira Skowrońska – 2023
meta_Morphosis opens a portal to the sensory and sublime within science to reveal the romance and beauty beyond the biological and socially alarming impact of recent viral pandemics. Evoked through the rarely seen but exquisite world of virions, focusing on SARS-CoV-2, the artist simulates a fantasy of a trajectory out of limitless chaos towards the human world.
The evolutionary dance of the virus’s tantalising yet malevolent molecular mutations are captured in the artist’s visually dynamic twenty-first century symphonic video-scapes, her intricate Morphosis suite of paintings and cluster of artful resin virion sculptures.
A panoramic video invites us into the evolutionary drama in a sequence of scenarios: meta_Morphosis: Imminere with virions approaching the earth from space, meta_Morphosis: Adventus where virions enter Earth and metamorphosis begins, culminating in meta_Morphosis: Disicuntio as new forms of viruses are borne from Earth into deep space.
The videos capture the transcendant swirl, the rush, the velocity across epic vastnesses, punctuated with periods of quiescence and stasis; blooming forth into an evanescent kaleidoscope of spectacular colour.
Skowrońska’s paintings, Morphosa 1, 2 and 3, meticulously rendered as a myriad field of minute pin-points of colour emulate the balletic dance, the sequence, manner and mystery of the evolutionary change, the ‘morphosa’ of the virion organisms.
The fully assembled infectious virus which is called a virion is the focus of Skowrońska’s Variato suite of sculptures, amalgams of both artifice and nature. Four sleek transparent futurist space-age vitrines conjure both the infinity and timelessness of inter-galactic space and the beautiful but sinister virion’s containment within a lab-like sphere that is resonant of the equipment for the clinical encapsulation of exotic mutating specimens in molecular biology research. From within the depths of Variato 5 the tenticular shape-shifting organism emits an electronic alien blue glow from the bubble within which it is at once evolving yet tethered within the density of the deep dark outer-galactic blackness of its plinth.
The glorious molecular fantasy realm of Elwira Skowrońska’s meta_Morphosis unfolds a drama of cellular particle life’s inexorable flux across time and space. In the way of Ovid’s literary Metamorhoses her opus too is a historio-mythic portrayal of the omnipotence of change and transformation and similarly harbours beneath its beauty ominous intimations of mortality and implications for humanity.
Barbara Dowse, Curator
Transcendent. Metamorphic. Other-worldly.
Experience. Elwira Skowrońska.
FX Artist: Emma Smith
Assistant FX Artist: Nathan Barrett
3D Modeller: Lara Clemente
3D Modeller & Printer: Scott Cotterell
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