Next month, FUSEBOX in Kingston will premiere a new art exhibition that turns the topic of poo into a fantastic, family-friendly natural history experience for all.
Community Train CRP are encouraging passengers to visit The Origin of the Faeces: Poo from the Zoo, a unique showcase curated by Tracey Lee, a former senior zookeeper who worked for more than 30 years at London Zoo. With a background in art, Tracey’s unique collection and unusual artistic journey began by accident in 2001 when the conservation zoo’s elephants, which she had cared for everyday for the past 12 years, moved to Whipsnade Zoo. As she was cleaning out the elephant house for the final time, she found herself inexplicably captivated by the last solitary ball of dung.
But rather than discard it, she dried it and kept it. Since then, Tracey has collected and preserved animal dung from more than 100 different species – many of which are threatened in the wild and part of important global breeding programmes designed to protect the species future.
Now, for the first time, Tracey is inviting visitors of all ages to explore the weird and wonderful world of animal poo, while challenging societal norms and sparking conversations about nature and conservation.
The Origin of the Faeces: Poo from the Zoo is a collaboration between Tracey, Kingston-based not-for-profit The Community Brain, and arts charity Creative Youth. It will also be the first major exhibition to premiere at FUSEBOX, South West London’s newest dedicated multi-arts venue.
Robin Hutchinson MBE, Director and founder of The Community Brain and Creative Youth, said: “When we first heard about Tracey’s collection and her amazing story, we just knew it had to be shared with more people. This is a brilliant exhibition because it gives visitors permission to talk about poo – and that’s something that appeals to people of all ages.
“I’m especially keen to use Tracey’s amazing exhibition to connect young people to the real plight of the natural world. The reality for many children today is that they can be more familiar with fictional Pokémon creatures than they are with many of the real-life species represented in Tracey’s collection. Getting up close to the creature’s poo is a fun way to help enable this.”
Artist and former zookeeper Tracey Lee said: “I’ve been collecting and preserving animal poo for the last 22 years and in all that time it’s been in my home where it’s only ever been seen by a handful of people and never in its entirety.
“This exhibition isn’t just about poo – it’s about capturing the essence of these magnificent animals in a way that’s both educational and eye-opening. It’s a celebration of nature’s diversity, while also a sobering reminder of the environmental challenges we face.”
The free exhibition is running from 7-28 October, Mon-Sat 11am-6pm, at FUSEBOX, Kingston Riverside.
Find more details and book to see the exhibition here.