?[Second Nature|http://www.secondnatureexhibition.co.uk/?] is a great reason to visit the Blyth Gallery whether you?re a fresher or continuing student. As the curators, Mindy Lee and Kate Street have excellently combined the work of several artists? pieces, which do not simply comment or capture nature but manipulate it with art to produce an interesting work.
The ?Spiny Fox? that greats visitors on the wall, to me is quite frankly scary. If you managed to pass the fox on the left Beth Williams? other works are ready to be observed. Amongst the truly rare ?specimens? is the less scary ?Artic Mustelid,? which is quite cute in comparison.
As you move past the sculptures, you discover Kate Atkin?s work, which serve a forewarning to Biochemists. Luckily, the organism that has almost taken over the image is a pencil creation.
On passing through the gallery be careful not to bump into the blackbird in the first of the two works by Kate Street. Her second work ?Spread? is fascinating. Is it a painting or is it a photograph? It is a shame that more of Street?s work is not present to enjoy.
Once you have finished inspecting ?Spread? there is more to do. Mimei Thompson?s bold, bright pieces leave a great deal to be discovered.
Opposite Thompson?s works were sumptuous photographs depicting the legendry and luxurious land of Cockaigne. I found these works by Gayle Chong Kwan to be a particular highlight. Be warned though, I visited these on an empty stomach and they can induce even more hunger.
Last, but not least (first if you?re not transfixed by the fox) are images by Elizabeth Dawson. Her oil landscapes are quite eerie depicting landscapes that do not exist.
As students at Imperial, the concept of tinkering with nature is nothing new to us. Experimenting with nature need not be done with a set of equations, however. Visit the Blyth Gallery on the fifth floor of the Sherfield Building and see how artists have been giving us a run for our money. The alterations may not be practical but then would it be art or would it be engineering? The exhibition is open from Monday ? Sunday from 9am ? 10pm, until 29 October 2005.