Author Topic: Artist in Residence, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.  (Read 732 times)

Dawn

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Artist in Residence, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
« on: March 09, 2017, 10:15:49 PM »
So, for the last few weeks, I have been an Artist in Residence at my local - Erewash Museum.  It's a museum local history and  a lovely place.

Because I love a challenge (!!!), when I applied, my proposal was that I would ask the museum to set my brief - select an room, area or object from their collection for me to base my project around - I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone, and I knew that if I chose what I was doing, I would most certainly have picked something that fit what I already do.

So, after discussion with the Museum manager, it was decided I'd do the Death Pennies that had recently been acquired - sent over after being discovered in the archives of the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, Canada.  They were undocumented, and a collections officer did a little digging, found that the family originated from Ockbrook in Derbyshire and they donated them to our local museum.

These death pennies, or their official title, Next of Kin Memorial Plaques, are  a rare brother and sister pair, and there is a lot of provenance for them. 

I ended up being intrigued by the 'back stories' surrounding these. Edwin, who died at the Battle of the Somme, had written letters home that were all very jolly and "oh life's not so bad here" compared with his brother Frank who wrote a war journal which tells the much more gritty reality.  So I made a range of samples which took snippets from these letters and diaries, did (unusually for me) a large drawing and also made a large glass death penny (the originals are bronze). 

This large one isn't what I intended, as there's much more detail in the real ones and we simply ran out time to make a faithful representation so this is more of an interpretation.  I want to make a copy that the museum can leave out on display that can be touched and felt.  The bronze ones are too special and must stay in the cabinet, but they're wonderful to hold - precious, and yet robust - rather like glass!

Anyway, here's a few snaps, opening night was this Tuesday , I was under a lot of time pressure due to a combination of moving goalposts, selfish other people and technology against me!  But I managed to get it done, with a few hours to spare.   ;D









FionaS

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Re: Artist in Residence, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2017, 10:04:01 AM »
Wow Dawn. They're fantastic. :) Very brave of you getting them to choose the brief. They must be really pleased with what you've done.

Jolene

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Re: Artist in Residence, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2017, 12:56:21 PM »
Congratulations Dawn, it's is a really interesting project and your fished pieces are amazing. I love that you are going to make one that can be touched, I want to reach right into the screen and feel the textures on your large glass penny.

Cornish

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Re: Artist in Residence, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2017, 02:02:01 PM »
wow love them and fascinating project.

jille

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Re: Artist in Residence, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2017, 03:29:55 PM »
What a great project Dawn, they are lovely. I have a death penny and photo's diaries from my G grandfather, I know how moving this can be and what a wonderful body of work you have produced.

Dawn

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Re: Artist in Residence, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2017, 07:31:39 PM »
What a great project Dawn, they are lovely. I have a death penny and photo's diaries from my G grandfather, I know how moving this can be and what a wonderful body of work you have produced.

As this is going along, I am finding people who have death pennies (I hadn't even heard of them before this) - some people don't have anything, I've found one with an original scroll from the King, another has two of these, along with the postcards they sent home to their loved ones.  One guy came to see me at the Museum with photos, records, medals and stories.

I hope to discover more, and it's the 'history' of letters, photos, recalled events and so on

When the crazy of the last few weeks has settled down, I plan on putting in an Arts Council bid to expand on this project to something much bigger.  I don't feel like I did the death pennies enough justice, and I don't think the timing could be any better if I'd planned it.


awrylemming

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Re: Artist in Residence, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2017, 11:16:17 PM »
I would love to come and see this in situ, fantastic work Dawn and something that really resonates with me.

jille

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Re: Artist in Residence, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2017, 08:46:21 AM »
Fingers crossed for you Dawn

spexy

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Re: Artist in Residence, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2017, 08:02:20 PM »
Well done for such amazing work Dawn. I'd never heard of them either.

jille

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Re: Artist in Residence, Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2017, 08:41:57 AM »
What you don't realise is they are quite big, about 15 cm