Luvamuncher, 2001

Erica Seccombe, Luvamuncher, 2001, 7x4 meters, photocopy on laser paper collage

Exhibited: 

  • No Muttering, 2001, contemporary printmedia curated by Rilka Oakley, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, The University of NSW; travelling to Sydney - Gosford Regional Art Gallery, NSW - The Queensland University of Technology Art Gallery, Brisbane.
  • Wild sheep chase, 2001 contemporary print and photo media, curated by Patsy Payne and Denise Ferris. Canberra School of Art Gallery, ANU, ACT
 Erica Seccombe,  Luvamuncher , 2001, 7x4 meters, photocopy on laser paper collage, exhibition view,  Wild sheep chase , 2001 contemporary print and photo media, curated by Patsy Payne and Denise Ferris. Canberra School of Art Gallery, ANU, ACT

Erica Seccombe, Luvamuncher, 2001, 7x4 meters, photocopy on laser paper collage, exhibition view, Wild sheep chase, 2001 contemporary print and photo media, curated by Patsy Payne and Denise Ferris. Canberra School of Art Gallery, ANU, ACT

Erica is a pioneer in the adaptation and experimentation of emerging computer technologies, commercial printing, digital photographic processes and photocopy in her printmaking practice since the early 1980's. For this work Erica explored the available technologies to her at the time, such as flat bed scanning and laser photocopy. At the turn of the 21st Century digital images were still being stored on floppy discs and zip drives, and digital cameras were expensive and had not fully entered the domestic market. While laser photocopy has become more user friendly, it was still considered inferior to more traditional forms of reproduction and print and limited to A4 and A3 sized paper. 

In Luvamuncher, Erica responds to the idea of scale by pushing the limits of available image reproduction as a metaphor for scientific visualisation.  The lenses of microscopes provide views of microscopic forms previously invisible to the naked eye, and from this perspective the infinitesimal can appear to us like monsters. Playing with the idea of looking through a powerful lens, Erica has enlarged an image of a plastic miniature toy praying mantis to a massive scale of seven by four meters in total. Using hardware and software available to to her at the time, such as laser printer and Quark Xpress, the work required an entire 500 ream pack of A4 laser paper. Through this process, Erica also used the registration marks and time of printing recored on the edge of each page as a reference to scientific accuracy.

The title of this work, Luvamuncha, also plays on the phenomena of sexual cannibalism displayed by praying mantis mating while under laboratory observation; where the female eats the males head after intercourse. {Whether they do this or not in a natural environment is currently debatable.] This studio mythology pinpoints the development of modern science in the atomic age by reflecting the growing authority of scientific knowledge and the role of the observer applying knowledge to visualise the unknown.