Residency, Education & Community
Installation by Jenni Dutton at the Priest’s House Museum
The culmination of Jenni’s Residency at the museum is her installation around the dolls she found in the attic. All had damage prior to being donated to the museum, but were still beautiful and special. One in particular she concentrated on one of them, making a series of potential new legs for her!
Artist and film-maker Joe Stevens has been working with young people to look at the Mending theme from the perspective of new technology.
Products like mobile phones, digital cameras, i-Pods, games consoles have ever shorter life cycles with components that are hard for your everyday person to fix our gadgets or reappropriate them. Moreover it can be cheaper to buy items like a new jumper than the wool to fix an old one. Times are very different from the older generation where a limited access to goods and a culture of make do and mend was prevalent.
Two groups used stop frame animation as a fun way to explore these issues and record their thoughts. Working closely together as a production team of four, each group made creative, playful and fun solutions to recycling and re-using broken gadgets in a number of short videos. Working Portland Rocks Junk Band (http://www.portlandrocks.co.uk) a group from Portland Aldridge Community Academy brought to school items from their household rubbish, to explore the sonic capabilities of old, broken, and discarded junk, and creating new musical instruments with a variety of unlikely objects!
These were lively, hands-on sessions, where we use the practicalities of re-purposing objects to delve into the tricky subject of what happens to our electronic products once they die, or become obsolete.
The Portland Rocks/Portland Community Academy film is now online at http://vimeo.com/73025800
After School Projects
Anne Brown, education officer at Priest’s House Museum, and Caroline Parrot, education officer at Walford Mill are working with Allenbourne Middle School after school club. A very different project from Techno-Journey, they are using old atlases, due to be thrown out by the school, to make clothes for a very special doll……Read Anne’s lovely piece about the doll in ‘Latest News’ on the Home Page.
Jenni’s own commissioned work within the museum is bringing a forgotten, broken Wax Doll out of the Museum’s attic, and back into the world equipped with new legs, and a new life. Her workshops with the archaeology volunteers will, in a similar vein, bring back to light many of the things that have lain buried and hidden under the Museum garden for several hundreds of years.
‘In consultation with the museum curator, we have decided to offer the workshops to the volunteers at the museum, some of whom worked on the community archaeology dig that took place in the garden prior to the new building that was completed in 2012. I plan to use some of the thousands of shards of pottery, clay pipes, shells, and general detritus that were found. These are in the process of being sorted, cleaned and labelled. Some items will be kept for research purposes, some as part of the museum’s collection.
The remainder has now been twice rejected. We will give a new lease of life to this collection by making a series of mosaics to be placed around the garden in which they were found.’
Two workshops will take place April 8th and 9th. The first will be for exploring the potential of the task, design, pattern-making etc. The second will concentrate on techniques of mosaic making. Participants will then be left to their own devices, before Jenni returns for a final day to help with finishing, and placing the final mosaics in a trail around the Museum’s very beautiful garden.