Bankfield Museum, Halifax | Site Specific Work
Paper, collage, cord, acrylic on wood construction.
Based on the original accession labels attached to a group of Yugoslavian artifacts, the majority of which were textile. In the early 1900s Edith Durham left Yorkshire and visited the country, collecting material that she later spent years collating and labeling. In those days you invariably made your own labels. Consequently, the labels contain drawings, typing and handwritten texts all of which are wonderfully evocative.
The breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990’s generated another form of labeling, as a device to justify religious, cultural segregation and ethnic warfare. I decided to make 3 figurative pieces that would hang on the staircase wall, affording multiple viewpoint as you walked up and down the stairs. Their twisted and convoluted arrangement suggestive of disruption and political entanglement.
I like the fact that the commission focused on an aspect of museology, labeling, that as a rule is not over valued visually. The labels for me were evocative on many levels of the bravery, curiosity and diligence of one individual. It is so easy to take for granted the unsung contributions to our collections that people have made.