PITT RIVERS MUSEUM, OXFORD
Artists in Residence
April - June 2017
In April 2017 we were invited to take on the artist in residence program at the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford to coincide with the installation of their newly displayed archaeology collection. This unique opportunity is allowing us to directly respond to archaeological artefacts through onsite research and an ongoing collaboration with museum staff. The archaeological collections in particular hold a certain significance for our work in the ability for the unearthed and re-discovered object to conjure new myths and meanings when trying to decipher how and why these objects were made and used. The curation of the Pitt Rivers Museum, whereby objects are divorced from a traditional linear concept of time resonates with our approach to re-imagining cultural objects that resurface throughout history and take on new meanings and ritual significance. Working with the Pitt Rivers Museum over the next few months will give us the opportunity to directly engage with a wider public audience by challenging the pre-conceptions of certain objects and traditions of making through our approach to contemporary craft practice.
In response to the ongoing NEED MAKE USE project at the museum, we proposed to focus in on some of the more abstract objects in the archaeological collection: in particular fragments of woven organic material and unknown, carved, stone objects. The reason we are particularly attracted to these objects are their ability to transcend their original function and meaning. They immediately make us question their purpose and materiality. Our aim over the next few months will be to take the shape and forms of these as a starting point to produce a series of sculptural works and drawings in which we begin to explore and document the process of making through video and photography.
Alongside new work produced during the duration of the residency, we will be delivering two events on site at the museum in Oxford.
EXPERIMENTAL OBJECT MAKING WORKSHOP
10am-12.30pm & 2pm-4.30pm
Saturday 27th May
Working with an array of foraged natural materials participants will dive into an experimental making workshop building invented objects that take inspiration from the surrounding Pitt River's collections. Working with yarn, willow, wood and clay they will come away with an object that questions form and explores function.
ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION: THE FUTURE OF OBJECTS - CRAFTSMEN & CURATORS
Thursday 1st June
A talk open to the public in which we discuss the future of objects being made today and to imagine what the museums of the future might be like. The aim of this will be to open up discussions around the value of materials, objects and labour and the changing responsibility of craftsmen and museums today.