ZoE Fothergill


Projects - Focus


focus 1


In 2011, I spent several months with the University of Edinburgh’s Natural History Collection at Ashworth Laboratories and was invited to make something for the foyer cabinet to mark the culmination of my research. Focus played with visual conventions, masking the display case and changing its usual function. The mirrored film developed the idea further as the viewers’ gaze was reflected back upon themselves. The bronze colour was selected to marry with the mahogany’s warmth and transform the case into a seductive sculptural object. The brass spy hole acted as signifier for looking and brought associations of entertainment and voyeuristic pleasure; a chance for intimacy in a public space was subtly presented with only the intently curious given reward. Through the peephole a video ran in a continuous loop shifting in and out of focus exploring the surface of Radiolaria’s microscopic skeleton but also bringing the cracked glass and imperfections in the historic slide collection to the viewer’s attention. The spy hole offered a simulation of microscopic sight when all else is excluded and the observer is immersed in what becomes a surprisingly physical encounter. 



focus 4



focus 2



focus 3


focus film still



focus film stills



focus slides