Spell Dust and Moral Ruins

CACSA Contemporary (Adelaide Central School of Art Gallery), 2015

Spell dust and moral ruins looks into the moral philosophy behind the grand facades of asylum architecture, large and looming structures built in response to utopian visions of nineteenth century moral reform and order. Distance through time helps us to view these buildings with a certain gothic enchantment and its associations with fear, uncertainty, isolation and the unknown. These architectural behemoths which continued to operate well into the twentieth century presented facades of genteel tranquillity ‘while on the inside they degenerated into grotesque parodies of the regenerative vision they had originally claimed to embody.’