22 Oct 2020 — 15 May 2021
Located on the ground floor of the London Mithraeum, Bloomberg SPACE aims to showcase the best in contemporary art whilst bringing fresh perspectives to the history of this unique site.
Our second commission of 2020 was Forest on Fire, developed by contemporary artist Lucy Skaer.
The installation was inspired by the image of the Tauroctony, the iconic centrepiece of Roman Mithraic mysteries. The Tauroctony depicts the god Mithras slaying a bull, surrounded by strange but precise images telling the story of recreation and the universe. Skaer’s installation explored the way symbols are created and read, abstracting known objects into sculptural forms, which in turn created a play on words and narrative associations.
The exhibition featured a series of bronze-cast animal pelts and abstract, carved stone animal heads, supported by stone basins. The forms were contained within a cast bronze boundary to form a symbolic space that highlighted the journey between abstraction, imagination, material and figuration.
The exhibition was launched on 4 November 2020 with a virtual Q&A between Lucy Skaer and Serpentine Galleries’ chief curator, Lizzie Carey-Thomas. You can watch a replay below.
Watch the making of Forest on Fire:
Lucy Skaer (born 1975) is a Turner Prize nominated contemporary artist who works with sculpture, film, painting, and drawing. Skaer graduated from the Glasgow School of Art and has been a founding member of Henry VIII’s Wives artists collective since 1997. Skaer’s work has a tendency to depict relationships between abstraction and the direct material nature of objects. Many of her works are drawn from historical objects which are translated and re-contextualized into new concepts.
A series of contemporary art commissions responding to the site’s rich archaeological history.