‘Harry Pashley’s Bell Jars’ were exhibited in Crab Pot Book Shop in Cley as part of ‘Cley 16’. The book shop which was once Harry Pashley’s Taxidermy Shop. The bell jar exhibits reflect our changing relationship with wildlife from eating swans to protecting endangered species. These bell Jars were created by Three generations of one family Sue Johnston, Kate Johnston and Gertie Bielstein
The internationally important nature reserve of Cley offers a sanctuary for birds and wildlife of all kinds and it forms the backdrop to our fable. The three connected pieces combines art and story. Our work tells a narrative of the serious impact that anthropogenic debris has on so many ecosystems and populations of wild species. Small seemingly insignificant random acts of wastefulness come together with serious unpredictable consequences. Some 100 million tons of plastic are floating and travelling in the oceans. Especially lethal is ingested plastic, oil contamination, and discarded fishing tackle, all so carelessly disposed of and causing slow, painful deaths to everything from tiny seabirds to whales. The story also questions our evolving relationship with the wonders of nature from twitching to trophy hunting, taxidermy to gastronomic delights.
Unless we start to rectify the damage; will all that we have left, to remind us of extinct species, be contained in museum cases or represented in spiritual effigies?
Harry Pashley’s Bell Jars is part of a trilogy at ‘Cley 16’ which also includes ‘Requiem’ and ‘Cygnus’.