Zabludowicz Collection is pleased to present an Invites exhibition by Plymouth-based artist Molly Erin McCarthy. McCarthy’s world-building practice responds to the landscape, folklore and history of Cornwall, materialising across an interactive game space, miniature dioramas and sculptural works.
Transporting her viewers into a hybrid environment – one that combines a military apocalypse bunker and a spiritual shrine – McCarthy simulates an end-of-the-world outpost. The setting of a seaside shelter – a sublime, eerie scene consisting of sandbags, breeze blocks and military khaki parachute material – allows for a layered narrative to gradually unfold in front of the viewer.
The installation extends from a newly developed interactive video game, in which the artist references reimagined landmarks and places in Cornwall and Plymouth. Drawing influence from open-world RPGs [role-playing games] such as Death Stranding and The Elder Scrolls, McCarthy conceptualises a quest involving endless exploration in a 3D rendered environment. Seated on bespoke breeze block furnishings, players navigate a virtual underground bunker, solving riddles and deciphering symbols to reveal the narrative of the artist’s world.
Working across both a physical and a digital universe, McCarthy uses world-building to intersect the mysticisms from the south-west with the techno dystopic aesthetics of the early 2000s. This unique collection of works uses geological forms, religious shrines, Celtic symbols and military power to prophesy a post-technological future.
Molly Erin McCarthy (b. 1995, Devon, England) received an BA in Fine Art from Plymouth College of Art in 2020. Recent exhibitions include Before The Linyow Came, Give & Takeover Commission, MIRROR, Plymouth (2022); UNDERCUT, BAS9 Fringe Exhibition, Under, Plymouth (2022); The Back of Beyond, Polygon Palm, UK/online (2022); DIGITAL MONSTERS, Solo Show, USA/online (2021); Paradigms, Look Again, Aberdeen (2021); Plymouth Contemporary, KARST and The Arts Institute, Plymouth (2021); RHIZODOME, auto:save, UK/online (2020); Still Here Still Life X Implied Gallery X Molly Erin McCarthy, interactive virtual sculpture, UK/EU/online (2020); Well Now, WTF?, Silicon Valet, USA/online (2020); and The Wretched of the Screen, The Wrong Biennale, Magdalena Art Space, Oxford (2020). Other projects include workshops and commissions, such as RE:WRITING HISTORIES/RE:IMAGINING FUTURES, Torpoint Community College, Torpoint, UK (2021) and State of Emergency, The Box, Plymouth (2020). Alongside her practice, Molly has worked with organisations such as Plymouth Art Weekender, MIRROR, KARST Contemporary Arts and CAMP.