Prepare to be compelled, disturbed and intrigued by the curious world of Adie Blundell and HIS DARK MATERIALS


24 November 2012 will see the opening of Coventry-based artist Adie Blundell's captivating debut solo exhibition, HIS DARK MATERIALS as part of the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum's challenging and provoking new Contemporary Art Season. Inspired by alchemy, folklore, poetry and obsessive Victorian collecting, this exhibition reflects the multiple obsessions which dominate Blundell's life. Blundell has always been intrigued by museums and collections.

From an early age, his imagination was ignited by cabinets full of curiosities and strange otherworldly things that he discovered during family outings to museums, stately homes and monuments.

Blundell's work is composed of new and found materials  sculptures are formed from plaster, latex, salt and iron, incorporating keys, locks, light switches and medical equipment. In the background you can hear extracts from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge a poem about guilt and redemption. He has created a series of disturbing yet compelling masks for HIS DARK MATERIALS which act as a vision of the different sides to his personality: Alchemist, Doctor, Hypochondriac, Ancient Mariner, Voyeur and Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. Large scale detailed drawings of albatrosses and other birdlike creatures all haunting yet beguiling are presented alongside the sculptures in this exhibition.

At its core HIS DARK MATERIALS examines human fears about the unknown and raises questions about the very nature of human existence and our precarious position within the natural world. Artist Adie Blundell commented "It was when I received my first Thomas Salter chemistry kit from my father that I discovered my desire to experiment. I had always dreamt that I would have my own laboratory to research and explore the nature of chemicals and materials so fast forward 30 years later; I had my very own studio to discover and create in.

"Combining this interest with my love of alchemical imagery and folklore has produced this most recent body of work. I use a number of processes to produce my work however the most important process is the power of unleashing one's imagination. This has manifested itself in my sculptures and sketchbooks; hence, 'His Dark Materials' is a very apt title for my first solo exhibition".

Senior Exhibitions Officer Rosie Addenbrooke said,

"We are delighted to be hosting Adie Blundell's first solo exhibition. His work is strangely alienating yet intriguing visitors won't have seen anything like this before at the Herbert".

HIS DARK MATERIALS exhibits upstairs in Gallery 4 from 24 November until 17 March and entry Is FREE.