Posts Tagged Croydon
Things are getting exciting for the ‘Collective Insites’ project at Maryborough with the opening of the group exhibition at Gatakers Artspace to take place on May 6th. This will be followed by a series of solo exhibitions by each of the artists from June 13th onwards. I caught up with Niels Ellmoos, one of the artists, who has been looking at Maryborough’s industrial past. This is what he had to say:
What is the exhibition about?
This exhibition is called ‘Collective Insights’ and it is about re-interpreting several of Maryborough’s museum collections. There are 5 artists involved and each of us have selected a particular museum collection. For instance I am using a Bond store collection which relates to Maryborough’s industrial history. These wooden patterns were removed when the bond Store basement flooded. I am looking at aspects of the industrial history related to them, the kind of industry they represent and as artefacts, how they have a voice from the past.
How are you going to use them?
I see them as a part of a larger picture so to speak. As objects they now , especially in a gallery setting, relate to us as beautiful forms. We enjoy the timber quality, the design and appreciate the skill of the artisan/tradesman who made them. However they were only part of an extensive process . They were used to produce metal components of machinery systems for a variety of industries. Now I want to incorporate the idea that they have a link to the past so in my drawing I use them in the overall composition , to give a recognition and acknowledgement to the design. I also want to show the human element as they were not just stand alone objects. The human form is important and adds to the drama of the drawing. This drawing though is only a part of my overall installation. I usually interface other mediums such as sculptural forms, digital media with the large-scale drawings to create what I call multi dimensional collages or what has been termed Grand narratives.
What do you want to achieve with this multi dimensional Collage Niels?
What I want to achieve is to hopefully involve or immerse the viewer with the different mediums so that they get an overall reading of the installation. I generally have a number of themes that are just below the surface. These relate to art history, community, history and cultural landscape. Walkers Engineering company and Croydon foundries which I am investigating have a grand local history which in these patterns whilst they are part of it , you can’t really know about it so it is up to the artist to bring other aspects to light. Museums today have the same problem as often and in this case there is scant evidence so often a museum has to make up a narrative about a particular exhibit and generally provide a story or diorama which somehow relates to the artefact they are presenting.
I like the idea of a tension between education and entertainment. When you see the other parts of my concept hopefully you will see what I am getting at. So overall I want the viewer to be entertained, question and be educated in some way. There should be a few optical tricks and an extension from the basic artefacts which are the patterns.
I am exploring hidden histories a theme which I began back in 2001. I feel that I can engage with a particular community that I am living in if I shed light on various local histories.
I am influenced by a number of artists that have dealt in some way with these kinds of themes. The significance of material evidence is crucial where documentary evidence is inadequate and in technological history this is often the case.
Here the real original pattern is on view. How do I bring a more eclectic and vigorous history to light? In the large drawing I try to inject a sense of drama and action of those early working conditions of which there are documentary proof in BW photos. Then I incorporate the outlines of the patterns to create a flow. This is an expressionist way of working quite vigorous in its
application. I also let my sub conscious mind work so that the drawing becomes infused with abstract shapes that become lines of energy which link focal points in the composition almost like a blueprint.
For the sculptural or 3 dimensional parts of the installation I will use some of the patterns themselves to provide a museum context. Other materials such as transport palettes, wooden box , plywood cut outs, dioramas etc will be incorporated. The digital media will consist of a tv monitor showing a loop of documentary footage.
The Collective Insitesapproaches the museum as a place of relevance to contemporary culture and . The intention is to stimulate audience engagement and interest in through innovative approaches to interpreting and examining their collections.
Fivewill focus their attention on the historic collections in the regional town of Maryborough in . They will interact with the objects in the collections in creative ways, and to explore and invigorate the interface between the collection and the audience. They will be encouraged to question the assumptions and expectations interwoven into museum practice and the acquisition, ordering and display of objects in the museum context.
The artists were selected to be part of ‘Collective Insites’ are David Hodges, Peta Duggan, Christine Turner, Niels Ellmoos, and Susan Hutton.
In the workshop Fiona Mohr introduced the artists to traditional museum practices and approaches and gave a brief overview of the historical collections that will be part of the project. Curator Judy Barrass gave a presentation on the many ways artists have interacted with, worked with, or commented on museums, collections and collecting, and museum practice. A visit to the local Historical Society collection was used as the starting point for discussion on approaches to dealing with objects versus stories or entire collections, and the difficulties artists might face in being ‘guided’ towards certain interpretations or stories.
Each of the artists was allocated a museum to work with for the duration of the project.
The collections included in the project are Brennan and Geraghty’s store, The Maryborough Military and, MavisBank, Maryborough Historical Society and industrial objects in various collections, including and Foundry moulds.
The artists will now go on to spend several months working with individual museums before the group exhibition in May at Gatakers Artspace in Maryborough.