Ghost Hat Lizard
Daniel Cowlam
18 June - 30 July 2022
Daniel Cowlam is a Leicester artist making sculptures, installations and paintings. Daniel merges various interests, referencing objects from bargain toy stores, science fiction films and 1960s graphic design. In his artwork, Daniel collects symbols and characters which come to life through animatronics, scripts and jokes.

'Ghost Hat Lizard' is the third exhibition in the 'Archive Fever' programme, a project about collecting and collections hosted by Modern Painters, New Decorators, funded by Arts Council England and produced in partnership with Leicestershire Museums Collection. Artists Joanne Masding, Jagjit Kaur, Dan Cowlam and Katie Schwab will each make new artwork in response to the items held in the Leicestershire Museums Collection. The Collection features items relating to the county's history, including; Victorian clothing, 1970s Action Man and Neolithic stone axes.

Drawn to items uniquely their own, Daniel researched costumes and objects in The Collection made by their owners. Customised jackets, reimagined fancy dress and handstitched banners; each object reflected the owner and now haunted the Collection as a ghostly visitation. The outfit without the model. The mask without the actor. How stories get told and the roles used to tell stories are two of the exhibition's central themes. Daniel has created a highly crafted installation of headwear, posters and inflatables using intensive silicon mould-making and oil painting processes. Sitting alongside costumes from the Collection, the artworks reference conspiracy theories, dingbat fonts and 1970s special effects, pulling from a grab-bag of symbols to create an exhibition of surreal theatrics.

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