Curators Mehta Bell Projects investigated the spiritual connotations of the totem as an object invested in ritualistic dimensions, in their diverse exhibition 'Totem: Sacred Beings and Spirit Objects'. The totem is traditionally an object or being that has spiritual significance to a particular society; based upon this ideology the exhibition explores the idea of the art object as a totemic emblem.
The eclectic selection of artists each take a disparate approach to the notion of the sacred in their practices. The exhibition is interspersed with the presence of totemic 'Sacred Beings'; certain artists choose to represent themselves as a spiritual entity, utilizing their physical bodies to discuss their own individual metaphysical explorations. The mass use of prosaic or ubiquitous articles such as used pill packets or origami paper flowers, is prevalent in many of the artworks, suggesting that the repetitious accumulation of the mundane can somehow result in a profound conclusion. For some artists it is the ritualistic process that imbues the work with sacramental qualities, whilst others allude more explicitly to physically totemic forms.