Laura Duffy - Spawn

A still from Spawn (2021) a video by Laura Duffy. The image is a close up of a natural organism that has rotted or decayed into a new form somewhere between the grotesque and beautiful. The organism sits on top of another green organic material with patches of liquid which appear to be stretched as if they have turned into a gooey substanceStill from Spawn (2021) a video by Laura Duffy

Spawn is a gift to those of us (so many of us!) who have been living through lockdowns. With the unwelcome mantle of ‘most locked-down city in the world’, Melbourne audiences were at the forefront of artist Laura Duffy’s mind when she created Spawn. Duffy mixes materials together like potions, encouraging audiences to consider texture through filmic spaces in which the natural and unnatural writhe upon one another – slipping, dripping, bubbling, congealing.

Responsive to a context of global pandemic mixed in with climate crisis, Duffy is moved by sentiments of kindness and generosity, inviting audiences into the ‘poetic, fun, fresh, flowery, camp and flirty’ world of Spawn.

The work reflects Duffy’s belief that materials are collaborative, complete with their own stories, histories and energies. The artist combines these materials to critique and shatter binary thinking of natural and unnatural as separate, instead embracing the complexity and blur of binaries. ‘How are we able to unleash from the constraints of “nature” to find new pleasures? A Post-nature embrace of all that is and will be, even if its toxic?’ Duffy questions.

Spawn is also a work about gratitude.  A filmic study of death and transformation. As golden liquid pours over rotting, spinning fruits and flowers, Duffy encourages us to ‘say thank you and rejoice in transformation and transmutation.’

An additional element of the work will be released in January 2022. Conscious that so many of us have been confined to our homes and tied to our screens, Duffy is collaborating with artist and friend Aliyah Winter to create a downloadable audio work that we can walk around with, enjoying at our leisure, wherever we please.

– Serena Bentley, Curator, ACMI

Spawn is a new work by Laura Duffy, commissioned by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) + CIRCUIT. The commission which supports an invited Australasian artist to deliver an experimental new work specifically for the online context. Work commissioned through the ACMI + CIRCUIT commission will enter the ACMI + CIRCUIT collections and is hosted on each organisation’s site.