Joey Holder

1st Prize


Zoophyte is an art installation dedicated to the rediscovery of cryptozoology, a pseudoscience that deals mainly with recovering anecdotal stories about legendary animals and other claims rejected by the scientific community, creating a map of creatures that are "off-limits", invented or not discovered. The work intertwines scientific method, myth, folklore and tradition.

The work presents a phylogenetic tree diagrammatic of the world, which connects the unknown and speculative creatures that would have evolved from a sound frequency and a common ancestor (a zoophyte). Alongside these creatures, the artist exposes existing organisms of which very little is known despite the observation and scientific study, including plankton and microscopic organisms in the ocean, beings of vital importance for the terrestrial ecosystem. 86% of all land plants and animals and 91% of marine animals have not yet been named and catalogued.
Viewers will have the opportunity to deepen the research areas of specific crypts and scientific specimens through the use and analysis of various diagrams and data maps.

Joey Holder has exhibited widely in the UK & internationally including the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Athens Biennale, Design Museum, Moscow Biennale, Transmediale & Venice Biennale. Her artwork is fuelled by continued dialogue and collaborations with researchers & practitioners from varied fields. She creates fictional worlds & constructed environments that respond directly to contemporary, real world events. Each artwork is considered a ‘set’ with filmic, narrative, architectural, visuals & sound elements created uniquely for the conceptual underpinning of the project. She has worked with computational geneticists, marine biologists, behavioural psychologists & investigative journalists where my artwork has addressed themes including future farming, synthetic biology and deep sea ecosystems.
Solo exhibitions include: Abyssal Seeker, Seventeen, London (2021) and FUTURA, Prague, Semelparous, Offspace, London (2020), Adcredo - The Deep Belief Network, QUAD, Derby, Matt’s Gallery, London, and Bloc Projects, Sheffield (2018); Selachimorpha, The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2017); Ophiux, Sonic Arts, Amsterdam, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (2016), and BioSTAT, Project Native Informant, London (2015).
Group shows include: British Art Show 9, touring UK, Iskra Delta, 34th Ljubljana Biennale, Slovenia,
ANTI, 6th Athens Biennale (2018), Joy Before the Object, Seventeen Gallery, London (2019); Cursed Images, Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna (2019); Future Love, HeK, Basel (2018); Inside Intel, The Centre for Investigative Journalism, London; Transcendental Forest, 7th Moscow International Biennale for Contemporary Art, Moscow (2017); Beyond the Liquid Horizon, le lieu unique, Nantes; SITUATIONS/Post Fail, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur (2018).

PHOTO CAPTION: Cryptid grid_white

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