Sculpture and Installation > Cabinet of Curiosity, Undergraduate Thesis

The Alchemist Dream
Porcelain, underglaze, gold, pine
1ft x 1.5ft
2010
Tentacles (detail)
Porcelain, underglaze, gold, pine
1ft x 1.5ft
2010
Lithium/ Grease Box
Lithium grease, Lithium, plexiglass
4in x 6 in
2010
Grandmas Glass
glass plate and the raw materials that make the plate in vials
12in x 8in
2010
Diatoms/ Silica
lowfire clay, glass, pine
10 in x 8 in
2010
Copper
copper cup, piece of montana native copper, copper oxide
9 in x 4 in
2010
Calcium
raw piece of calcium metal, gazelle mount, pine.
1 ft x 2 ft
2010
Cadmium Cups
Porcelain, cadmium
11 in x 11 in x 7 in
2010
Hollow Tip
porcelain, shell from ww2, plaster fir
7 in x 1 ft
2010
Redwing Blackbird
redwing blackbird, arsenic, pine
2010
Uranium Ore
paper uranium oar container, uranium oar, pine, glass
8 in x 5 in
2010
Side Cut
porcelain, foam, astroturf, brass, pine
2 ft x 1.5 ft x 1.7 ft
2010
Nickel
nickel node, glass, plaster, pine
5 in x 6 in
2010
Uranium/Smoke Stack
Stoneware, concrete, mason stain, vellum, pine,
4.7ft x 3ft
2010
Tantalum/Scull
human scull, tantalum scull plate, tantalum capacitors
12.1 ft x 11 in x 11 in
2010
Red Frog
2in x 6 in
2010
Lye/The Curious Saponification of Marie Nobel
the late Marie Noble, pine, plexiglas
2.5 ft x 3 ft x 3.5 ft
2010
Strontium/ Hawk Scull Reliquary
porcelian, skull, paint, pine
5in x 7in
2010

Cait’s Cabinet of Curiosity


Traditional cabinets of curiosity were rooms or buildings devoted to housing objects collected during trade and travel. Diverse assemblages of oddities; relics of the sciences, anthropology, and art were displayed together. Cabinets emerged in the 1500’s and were the predecessors of modern museums.

The juxtaposition of such seemingly disparate objects allowed man, for the first time, to view the world as a dynamic place. A world not controlled by a static divine hand, but through the endless transformations of natural history. Consequently man began rejecting doctrines that had prevailed since ancient Greece through the Middle Ages. This new philosophy sparked the scientific inquiry of the renaissance, leading to the scientific revolution of the 17th century.

My cabinet of curiosity is comprised of objects collected through travels and studies. The objects are vestiges of science, natural history and industry, which catalog man’s uses of the naturally occurring world.

The individual objects are displayed according to their chemical foundations. To illustrate this, I’ve organized each piece through its relationship to the Periodic Table of Elements. The table serves as a springboard to understanding our atomic makeup. Matter is not a solid mass but invisible atoms spinning themselves into form. This knowledge has shaped my philosophy and perceptions of the material world.

This installation is heavily based on my scientific inquiry, but as you will see, the strangeness of man’s uses of the natural world is laden with obscurity, wonder, and destruction.