Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Jubilee - part 1

There are so many events happening in the UK this year.  We are pleased with how our Olympics themed exhibition has turned out and how it is being received by visitors.  Another event which you can't miss this year is the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  We have been looking through our collection to see what objects we could feature with a Jubilee theme.

The obvious choice as far as I am concerned are the three Jubilee Cream Makers which we have in the collection. 

AIBDC : 002604

AIBDC : 002604

Alright, so they don't really have anything to do with the Queen but they are fabulous objects all the same. However, after a bit of internet delving there is a remote possibility that this model of cream maker was called the Jubilee because it dates from 1935 the year of George V's Silver Jubilee. I have only found one reference for this so I am not believing it quite yet. If you have any details that can clarify this matter it would be gratefully received.

PHSL : 19.1 this example is part of the PHS collection

PHSL : 19.1 this example is part of the PHS collection

PHSL : 19.2 this example is part of the PHS collection

PHSL : 19.2 this example is part of the PHS collection

MoDiP will be closed on Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th June in line with the AUB public holiday policy.

Louise Dennis (Assistant Curator)

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Olympic Mascots

MoDiP has a taster case filled with memorabilia for the London 2012 Olympic games some of which includes depictions of the mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville.

Louise Dennis (Assistant Curator)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Elise Comberti - Defining Practices

Untitled (2012) mixed media

A personal archive of objects and photographs relating to my Jewish and German heritage were my starting point. Charged with memories, and both personal and cultural associations.

How should these artifacts be preserved?

How could they be displayed without diminishing their significance to my family?

What happens when they are reproduced and multiplied?


Detail of Untitled


Robin Sullivan - Defining Practices

The most viewed piece of non-art exhibited worldwide.

Frances Bowen - Defining Practices

Untitled (2012) Plastic picnicware

The conventions of the museum are such that whether an artifact is a commercially produced plastic picnic cup or a rare Ming vase it will receive the same treatment. It may be displayed in a vitrine, its provenance described and taxonomy established alongside other objects. It will be handled in a way that will protect and preserve it. The white cotton gloves will be employed for both.

To touch, to mark, to burn, to scrape and to make patterns is to challenge these conventions.

Detail of Untitled

Emma Brown - Defining Practices

Untitled (2012) Chicks and resin

I am interested in the idea of the museum and its reflection on human nature and our desire to accumulate, protect and preserve, not only artifacts but life.

Natural History collections traditionally employed taxidermy to preserve animals and present them in a lifelike state. I have used resin in this piece to encase and conserve a dead chick in its ‘true state’, reflecting contemporary ethical concerns regard-ing collecting and preserving natural specimens. Day old male chicks are the waste product of Battery Farm egg production, discarded and overlooked. Here they are redeemed and given value by preserving their physical presence.

Detail of Untitled

Mariya Garbacheva - Defining Practices

Meta work (2012) Household gloss paint

I am currently exploring the idea of Abstract Art work being 'meta-work' (a work about that work that represents itself, the process of its creation or materiality, the convention of art, or the gallery where it’s hung).

An object removed from the everyday and placed on display in a gallery or museum is transformed into potential artwork.  I am interested in reversing this by placing ‘artwork’ outside of its gallery environment to interact with everyday objects.

Meta work
Detail of Meta work

Bethany Bailey - Defining Practices

Untitled (2012) Baby doll and toy soldiers

I focused on the idea of creating a visual juxtaposition between the modern toy soldiers made from readily available, cheap plastic and the valuable late 1940s Pedigree doll made from hard plastic. I constructed a scenario, much like a child would during play, in which the connotations of the fragility of the doll would be overridden by the larger-than-life effect it had in relation to the tiny toy soldiers. This structured perspective would hint towards the seriousness of the crossover between child’s play and reality in regard to violence, gender roles and expectations.

Detail of Untitled

Robert Marshall - Defining Practices

Sunny Side Up (2012) Lego fried in mineral oil

Frying the Lego has destroyed the object's foundations. It is now in a transitional state, the egg may be seen to be either forming out of a mould into building blocks or on the contrary melting back into its original liquid state. There is a construction and deconstruction happening, creating a juxtaposition within the piece. However, as the title suggests, this is essentially a 'fun' piece, Lego brings back happy memories, full of imagin-ation and creativity. Just as an egg symbolizes life; beginning and hope. This piece celebrates the happy early years before adulthood begins, melting away those childhood dreams.

Sunny Side Up
Detail - Cheese on Toast

Stephen Moberly - Defining Practices

Self portrait (head removed) (2012) and Relic of middle child’s hand (2011) wire, homemade playdough, wax, marbles, acrylic paint, dead foliage, wood, homemade playdough (flour, wax, water, p.v.a., talk, baby milk), wine gum and staples.

This piece was inspired by St. Theresa’s arm. A 16th century relic which was cut off when her body was exhumed and put on display in a glass case for pilgrims to pay homage to. My interpretation refers to the parent-child relationship and in particular the misguided, overcompensation in face of uncontrollable external influences that can, however well intended, lead to more harm than good.

Self portrait (head removed) and Relic of middle child's hand
Self portrait (head removed) and Relic of middle child's hand

Simon Gamble - Defining Practices

Untitled (2012) Heat-sensitive till roll

All through our lives we own a huge range of plastic objects, often quite fleetingly. This work is my personal museum of plastic; every plastic object that I can remember owning, from early childhood to the present day. When I am dead many of these objects will still exist, in landfills, in lofts and in charity shops. The list is recorded on till roll scratched with a plastic tip, an ephemeral medium that will fade to nothing, just as the connection between the objects fades. Objects that were once connected and related, once again become free in space and time.


Detail of Untitled

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Monica Bonomo - Defining Practices

Plastic Movement (2012) Plastic Straws

Repetitive performative acts shape the body engaging it in a plastic dance. As well as plastics our bodies are docile, versatile and surprisingly fragile.

In “Plastic Movement” the body and the plastics blend as an allegory of the social construction of the body in contemporary society.

The dress worn in Plastic Movement
Detail of the dress

Defining Practices

Under the guidance of Julia Flatman, Senior Associate Lecturer, School of Visual Arts, and as part of their unit: Defining practice 1, Level 4 Fine Art Students were given the opportunity to develop work in response to MoDiP.

The learning outcomes of the unit include being able to:

  • demonstrate an enhanced understanding of the nature and character of fine art;
  • show awareness of the relationship between practice and context;
  • apply technical knowledge and skills in the realisation, documentation and presentation of work.
Each student responded in his or her own way but four themes emerged:

  • the meaning of collecting and collections;
  • the re-contextualisation implicit in any museum display;
  • the values associated with artefacts in museums;
  • plastics, MoDiP’s focus.
The works by the students can currently be viewed in the library cases and will be on display until the end of the summer.  They can also be seen in the following blog posts.

The students' exhibition.

Susan Lambert (Head of MoDiP)