04 April 2014

"Museums" course - March meeting

We brought in the projects we've been working on, and laid them out. In a variant of speed dating, we went round the table leaving "three words, and a question" at each display, with three minutes to spend in each place.
Unfortunately the "tropical explorer's survival kit", in its many-pocketed container, is covered by the blank paper - but you can see the bits of wood, which Flea found in an old cabinet, that have been wrapped with cloth also found there - 

Ilana is using the history of the site of Tate Britain, which was once a prison, and has been incorporating the idea of prison bars; perhaps they will lead to jewellery (etching on metal), perhaps to something else-
Karen's mind-map about pins finds its first expression in this child's coat, ambiguously lined with hundreds of pins - protection, or malevolent intent? -

My focus has been on the museum as a maze to be travelled through, resulting in a book structure, ceramics incorporating that kind of structure, and double-sided embroidery on cloth and paper -
Marianne's starting point is a chapel in a cemetery, looking at the tiles and at other patterns, and at the memorials to people buried there -

Pam's work with a 1960s primary school, making murals with each class (and coincidentally teaching motor and perceptual skills) is producing results, and she has personal work alongside that -

Polly, a basketmaker, has been making (weaving? plaiting?) shoes from paper - she's planning to make lots more of them -

Rose's visits to the Horniman Museum have resulted in a collection of annotated photographs and work on colour and patterning -
The 19th-century Red Barn Murder, local to where she lives, has given Sara material for prints and various artefacts, including these "authentic replicas" of shoes worn by the protagonists -

The Micrarium of microscope slides at the Grant Museum of Zoology led Susie to make a micrarium of her own tiny objects; her next step will be to "sit with the sewing machine" -
Sylvia's focus on hand has led to stitched panels as well as much sketchbook work (I'm drawn to the "unconsidered" back of the work, which to me conveys the difficulty of stitching with painful hands - even though the front doesn't show this) -

General agreement was that this is a good exercise and that the words and questions were something to ponder on. 
The afternoon included talk of targets, timescale, and endpoints. Considering how much time we have to spend on the work, and our own working methods. There was mention of "the great disappointment of finding out that you're not self-motivated", and wanting to be able to work more fluently and think more easily, and have more confidence about one's choices.

Other things that came up were Ken Robinson's TED talks, and RSA animations of them. And the possibility of "an internet museum". When the work is "out there", somehow, what needs considering is: the context; who sees it (or looks at or for it); and whether the works are meant to "disappear" or rather meld into a context or collection - how will it be related to the place?

Some practical techniques - waxing paper by heating it by ironing it (on a pile of newspaper to retain the heat), then rubbing it with a wax candle, and using more paper and the iron to absorb the excess wax; or, lightly rubbing paper with baby oil (on a cotton swab) and ironing off the excess. Transferring an inkjet image printed onto acetate onto fabric that has some hand sanitiser rubbed onto it, laying the acetate (ink side down) on the fabric, and rubbing off the ink with a credit card. Using photos as sources for drawing - photograph details and blow them up even more.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

I am drawn to the pins in the garment idea.

Thanks for the little tips in the last paragraph. Last week at the CQ meeting the speaker mentioned oiling brown paper. I wasn't quite sure how one would go about it. So, you have saved me from slathering it on!