Jo Coupe, Fruitbody, 2001

Jo Coup
Fruitbody, 2001

Stepney Bank Warehouse, Newcastle upon Tyne 

For the work Fruitbody, Coupe turned a warehouse into an incubating environment to reproduce graffiti tags (signatures) found in the city, from mould.

"Nature and man's attitudes to the natural environment, have been the subject of my recent work. Through installations, objects, assemblages, photography and even smell, my work challenges what we consider to be 'natural'. I am inspired by what happens when man and nature are seen to be in conflict: in the home, where proud house owners seek to eradicate all other forms of life with anti-bacterial sprays, slug pellets and damp-proofing; in utopian images of the countryside, which man airbrushes himself out of; in the city, where small shoots push up between gaps in the pavements and trees grow out of brickwork. Where man and nature collide we make a distinction between us and them -- these are things I make work about. Fungi are unpredictable and difficult to control and like graffiti, are seen as part of the process of degeneration and therefore alien entities to be eradicated. Fruitbody highlights the harsh calligraphic style of graffiti and the organic softness of mould. Specific tags have been chosen for the contrast between the cartoon-like style of writing and the ominous meaning of the words.” Jo Coupe

As part of three site-specific commissions in Newcastle-upon-Tyne by Tanya Axford, Catherine Bertola and Jo Coupe

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