“Voyage Through a Hidden World” at The Bone Room

by admin on March 13, 2012

An ongoing collaborative project of calligraphy and story by Julie Benbow and watercolor drawings by Sandra Yagi, the exhibition “Voyage Through A Hidden World” at The Bone Room Natural History Salon features delightfully imaginative journal entries and illustrations authored by a fictional English woman naturalist in the late 1700s as she encounters fantastic creatures on a voyage to assorted exotic lands, from Mexico to the Garamondia Islands.

Each painting is accompanied by journal entries written in astute Darwinian fashion and scientific care that describe the circumstances of the creature’s discovery and its taxonomy. Historically accurate reflections in the journal entries make them educational, and with Benbow’s creative writing amusing as well. One particular passage about the spider monkey reads: “I shall now attempt to describe him – for I feel it is a male – and will name him Billy after our esteemed Prime Minister William Pitt, who has the same hirsute eyebrows and propensity to be verbose.”

Sandra Yagi’s work is inspired by the natural sciences as well as by the classical drawing and painting techniques of the old masters, including anatomical studies by artists such as Andreas Vesalius and Bernhard Siegfried Albinus.  She has exhibited in Los Angeles, Chicago, and recently with San Francisco Art Enthusiast, “Spectacular Beasts.”

 “Voyage Through a Hidden World” is at the Bone Room Natural History Salon in North Berkeley until March 31.