The Blind Idealist’s Black Dog by Jo Torr
Southland Museum and Art Gallery
17 February 2012 to 29 April 2012
The work Jo Torr completed for the William Hodges Fellowship 2011 draws attention to the brief and ill-fated 1850s Enderby settlement on the Auckland Islands.
The sculpture, which takes the form of garments, reflects on the existence of the settlement in such a remote and inhospitable place and expands the concept of mutual exchange to include the environment.
The title of the exhibition refers to Charles Enderby’s characterisation as an idealist blind to the impossibilities of the settlement’s success. The ‘black dog’ simultaneously refers to the name of one of the sailing vessels employed by the settlers and to the depression Charles Enderby inevitably suffered when the settlement collapsed.