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Naturalien Cabinet

Stadtmuseum Klausen
Chiusa / Klausen, IT
1.4. - 27.5.2023

Naturalien Cabinet / Naturalien Kabinett / Gabinetto di Scienze naturali
Elisabeth Oberrauch

1.4. – 27.5.2023
Stadtmuseum Klausen / Museo Civicio Di Chiusa 

Elisabeth Oberrauch’s exhibition in the three rooms of the museum gallery articulates itself in three major themes: Fauna, Geology and Flora.

FAUNA. Elisabeth Oberrauch’s works on paper have been described as a “world museum” and “taxidermy of natural beauty”. The haptic of the pulp, the choice of suitable materials, the meticulous study, folding and arranging of the objects; in minute work the artist creates wondrous apparitions, fairytale-like entities, visionary, and yet they could also have sprung from a natural science collection, so faithfully does she reproduce the physiognomy of jellyfish, puffer fish and rays. The creative process is a meditative one, both in terms of craftsmanship and spirit. Elisabeth Oberrauch sees the cosmos in the star-shaped skeleton of a coral, the world in the shell of a turtle, which was not folded from an old world map for nothing.

GEOLOGY. In this section, the artist shows travel diaries. In 2019, a voyage of discovery took her to the shores of South Georgia, some 1,000 km from Antarctica. Her constant companion was her travel diary, in which she recorded, among other things, penguins, seals and whales, anatomically precise and zoologically classified. Landscape and waterfalls, on the other hand, characterise the travel diary of Iceland. They are total works of art, because the paper and the cover are selected according to precise ideas and bound by the artist himself, a special form of anticipation for the upcoming journey. They are fond memories, kept deep in the heart and memory, which sometimes reappear as fanfolds and resemble travel altars: two-dimensional works that unfold and become sculptures.

FLORA. The artist meticulously examines nature, and she is particularly fond of small, incidental phenomena. Not exotic blossoms, but the delicate roots of a strawberry, or the geometric perfection of a spruce cone. These details are deliberately highlighted and magnified by her, they become visible to the layman’s eye and we are immersed in the artistic discovery of the botanical world. Dried plants, watercolour and silhouette, handmade paper and sculptural forms characterise the compositions. In places, white linen fabric shines through the tendrils, with ironed-on embroidery designs in fragile blue, as was the custom 100 years ago. It is a tribute to the times, to the muse of needlework, to the conscious perception of the curiositas and mirabilia that everyday life and nature offer us.
Also on display are exquisite botanical motifs from the Loreto Treasure, which is kept in the City Museum, and which the artist has selected and skilfully captured in watercolour.