Origin: Mid 19th Century, abbreviation of Zoological Gardens
-torium suffix: attached to nouns to convey a place for a particular function such as; auditorium; sanatorium; zootorium
Bill Jackson is a collector of things; random objects and discarded waste salvaged from rubbish dumps and skips. Over time Bill has formed his personal museum of curios; each discovered treasure carefully labelled and stored, kept in case they might have some future use. And so it was with a box of abandoned plastic toy animals that became the basis for "Zootorium".
Taking inspiration from Joni Mitchell's 1970 song "The Big Yellow Taxi" in which she sang about 'putting all the trees in a tree museum and charging everyone a dollar and a half just to see them', Bill took his box of toy animals, a mixture of wild animals, farm animals and domestic pets and created "Zootorium"; a museum of animals.
"Zootorium" is a simple concept; toy animals placed under glass domes and presented on a podium. Through the careful presentation of the isolated toy, removed from its role in a child's game, and the process of photographing each object, Bill transforms the animals into museum relics, granting them an implied greater significance beyond their original childish purpose, and conserving the artefacts for future generations to view.
Bill's primary concern is to explore the idea of the photograph as an object. He recasts his found objects into new fictions and in so doing questions ideas about the limitations of photography and specifically how the line between photography and other art forms, in particular sculpture, is being blurred in contemporary photographic practice.