Toi Poneke Gallery Morphs into a Show-reel of Emotion

29 January 2009

Moving from film and theatre set design to telling visual stories in a gallery setting has become an interesting journey for Toi Poneke's next solo exhibitor, Anoushka Athique.

Through His Remembering Heart, Anoushka will tell an unusual but true story about suicide, heart transplants and cellular memory through the use of found and hand-crafted objects, text, lighting and sound. She is inspired by a story that she saw in several international newspapers last year, and has decided to use the story while embellishing it with other fictional narratives for her first exhibition.

"It starts off with the suicide of a young married man in the US, whose family donate his heart to another, older man," says Anoushka. "It wasn't long before this man took on traits that weren't known for him to have before. Within ten years, after writing to the donor's family a lot, he had married his donor's wife. And then an even stranger thing happened - he killed himself in similar circumstances to his donor."

Anoushka has used her newfound interest in cellular memory as well as fragments of other stories to construct a walk-in linear narrative that visitors to the gallery are sure to find fascinating. She says the story is divided into six segments, with a considerable amount of text to steer viewers along.

"However, artefacts from the display should evoke some emotional sense of the story rather than just illustrating the narrative for the viewer."

The gallery walls will be covered with objects such as fragments of text, rhymes and newspaper cuttings, drawings, an elephant put together with a shell, a section of a crab, soap, bread, a view of sunshine, and sounds of a sewing machine.

Anoushka graduated with a degree in Performance Design from Central Saint Martins, London in 2004 before embarking on a Masters in Scenography (theatre design) the following year. Her focus on telling stories through imagery and symbolism rather than performance led her to exhibit her work in a gallery.

His Remembering Heart opens at 5.30pm on Thursday 12 February at Toi Pōneke Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street and runs until 27 February.