To blindly go where no earth worm has knowingly gone before

Thinking about underground paths that we don’t see and rarely think about I started thinking about animals that live underground and exist largely undetected. This led me to think of worms, who are blind and exist by instinct, and then to wormeries, created by humans to observe these curious wormy creatures going about their subterranean existence.


Thinking about this instinctual / oblivious behaviour, and the addictive intrigue that it brings about led me to think of other ‘great adventures’ and to to the introductory text that was spoken at the beginning of many Star Trek television episodes and films, from 1966 onward:

Space: The final frontier
These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise
Its 5 year mission
To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life and new civilizations
To boldly go where no man has gone before

Which is where the idea behind the adapted title of this piece came from.

As a child I remember trying to ‘dance’ worms out of the ground, pouring water on a spot and dancing on that spot in an attempt to replicate rain fall that would lure worms out (what I thought I’d do with the worms once/if they surfaced, I’m not entirely sure!). Anyway, thinking about it now it just feels like taunting the animals – raindrops keep falling on my head.

This led my thoughts on to other animals that live subterranean, parallel lives to ours and yet are rarely noticed by us led me to think of moles. Like worms they’re also blind, and pretty harmless yet seen as pests when they ‘surface’. Consequently horrific traps have been created to capture and kill the moles, and they’re used on a domestic level by ‘normal’ people who seem to think that such behaviour is acceptable… Another parallel, this one with human behaviour and intervention – with the way in which some people think that it’s acceptable to interrupt the lives of others and treat fellow creatures.

The space of literature

An exhibition by Lucas Dupin at Oxford Central Library
Continues until Friday 28 February 2014


Lucas Dupin (b. 1985) is a Brazilian visual artist with an MA in Fine Art from the School of Fine Arts of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and a BFA from the same University.

Looking at the portfolio pages on Dupin’s website it’s clear to see that he’s an artist with an active interest in creating site-specific interventions in public spaces, both indoor and outdoor, in addition to exhibiting in traditional gallery spaces. Combine this penchant for public engagement with a deep-rooted interest in bookbinding and literature that runs alongside his practice, and it’s not surprising to find that this Brazilian artist has found himself in Oxford with an exhibition at the city’s central library.


The space of literature comprises two new works, a wall-based installation and a series of watercolours. The work derives its title from a book by the French writer Maurice Blanchot. Despite its connection to the literary practice, Dupin’s artworks invites the viewer to enter into an experience, to explore an understanding of a place where time and space are absent. Dupin is interested in creating transportative experiences that enable the viewer to enter a space where one belongs to the imagination.

Deconstructing everyday objects, Dupin’s installation at Oxford Central Library comprises of a group of old calendars where all numeric or time references are cut out. What remains, hanging on the wall, is a geometrical patterns of grids, the left over spaces of the days plus the missing parts strewn across the floor.

The other other work is a set of displaced watercolours. The paintings evoke a space of strangeness where time and space seem to be suspended.

Lucas Dupin has worked with bookbinding since 2005, developing books, and teaching courses. In 2009 he won 2nd place in the ABER (Brazilian Association of Bookbinding and Restoration) contest in the amateur category with an exhibition at São Paulo Cultural Center. He also conducted a short internship at Atelier Reliures Houdart in Paris under the guidance of Ana Utsch in 2008.

Dupin’s work has been exhibited and featured in several solo and group exhibitions in Brazil, Canada and USA. Two years ago, he won the Energias da arte Prize, an important national award focused to young artists. As part of the prize he joined an artistic residency at The Banff Centre in Canada for two months. Other highlights in his curriculum are the prizes Forestry Interactions (2010) with an artistic residency at Terra UNA Eco Village and the competition and exhibition Olheiro da arte in Rio de Janeiro.