Wednesday, 7 February 2018

MoDiP @ The Creative Exchange

We are pleased that a MoDiP project, Confronting plastics preservation, is one of 14 projects featured in ‘The Creative Exchange’, an exhibition on show at the Arts University Bournemouth until 16 February, which showcases collaborative projects undertaken by the University. The exhibition highlights the processes underpinning the projects and captures the journey from conceptual brief to creative output. The exhibition is supported by European Union funding.

Confronting plastics preservation was undertaken by MoDiP in collaboration with the Plastics Subject Specialist Network (PSSN) with support from Arts Council England. The PSSN shares expertise in the history, development, care and interpretation of plastics in order to enhance understanding of the key role played by plastics in modern society. Membership is open to all collections of plastics, public and private; to archives with material relevant to plastics; and to societies in the plastics subject areas. You can find out more about the PSSN and see the projects it has undertaken here

Museum curators have a deep understanding of the care needed for the natural materials held in their collections. However this is less often the case with plastics, a large group of laboratory-made materials which are more or less vulnerable, react differently to the environment, degrade in different ways, and require different care if their life expectancy is to be maximised. It is this absence of expertise that Confronting plastics preservation sets out to address. 

Confronting Plastics preservation led to the development of an online resource. It consists of a short film by Emma Crouch, I say RAAR, giving a flavour of a workshop held at the start of the project, films of the papers given at the workshop, an account of standard practice for the care of plastics and a series of case studies featuring specific objects, the condition of which is being recorded photographically every six months for five years. We are currently in year 4. ‘The Creative Exchange’ exhibit features the films and one of the case studies: a shoe made of polyurethane in which the plasticiser (adipic acid) has migrated to the surface giving the shoe a white bloom and making it less supple. 

You can find out more about Confronting Plastics Preservation on the MoDiP website.

Susan Lambert (Head of MoDiP)

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