ArtHouses, Whitley Bay (sculptural installation), August 2017

A Cornucopia is an abundant supply of good things. TOTALLER, as a collective, is interested in the creative process as something excessive, beyond our everyday needs, vital to our well-being and a tool for questioning things we take for granted. The world is full of stuff, and so are our homes – what are the functions, practical and symbolic of these objects and images we live with? Could you live with something disruptive, something sacred in your home?

In August 2017 TOTALLER worked with a ArtHouses and the Turner family to create UniCornUtopia, an artwork consisting of three elements: A sculptural horn, an overabundant cake, and a watercolour painting on A1 paper, a portrait of the artists and residents as unicorns.

We imagined this installation specifically for a dining room/area. The horn and the cake positioned at either end of a dining table and the painting on a wall overlooking the scene. These three things each have a symbolic function within the overall piece. They were messy items, all painted/decorated in a new-age rainbow unicorn aesthetic, promising a collective harmony and not quite fitting in. The horn didn’t sound and the cake did not look particularly appetising – though we aimed to make it edible. Making the objects together and placing them in the domestic setting brought UniCornUtopia to life. The double portrait as unicorns was a gift to the family, a reminder that artists dwelt here for a while and that the Turners were artists too. Our promise to the family and the visitors during the ArtHouses weekend was this: you might find us beautiful, or difficult to look at. You might wonder if we are being ironic you may question our taste. These objects will promise some artistic utopian vision just out of reach.