Yesterday I was thrilled to give a talk at Manchester Museum as part of their "Collection Bites" series, allowing an in-depth look at items in their collection and showing their significance.
For me, the museum has been a massive influence since moving to the city to study for my degree and learning on the courses and at the events they put on with experts and curators.
As a local artist the Museum is a fantastic resource right on our doorstep and I have enjoyed researching the amazing objects on display as well as getting deeper into the artefacts with the curators and the objects in storage.
There are so many amazing objects in the museum, I had plenty to choose from. I spoke about the pieces that had influenced me the most and some of the contemporary designers looking at similar themes, inspired by nature but using modern materials and techniques to synthesise organic processes.
I brought with me particular pieces which I had made in response to what I had learned in the Museum and thanks to the assistance of Kate Sherburn and curator David Gelsthorpe I could show them with the museum specimens and curios that directly related to them.
The museum objects and my pieces sat side by side with other items from my studio.
I wanted to make something in the session too, as I find learning a lot more interesting if I get to create. To demonstrate one of the wonderful minerals which is a big theme and material in my work I brought along some gold cubes for people to assemble and attach together forming a pyrite sculpture, which will continue to grow and be displayed in our gallery. It s an idea I have wanted to make myself, but I didn't want it to be contrived.
By making it together with the assistance of others I like the organic way the structure develops, giving it an unpredictable shape. I am looking forward to seeing this develop and I will keep you updated on progress as more and more individuals add their own "cube".