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Museumaker is a publicly-funded, UK-based organization which aims to develop new audiences and new understandings of craftworks and museum collections. Its two principal stakeholders are: Arts Council England, and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, East Midlands. This was the organization’s first project. Its aim, as described by Sir Christopher Frayling in his Foreword to the accompanying catalogue, was to explore 'how museum collections can provide inspiration for today’s creativity and how creativity can provide a gateway into the art and craft of the past'. There was a nationally-advertised call for submissions, and I was one of fifteen artists and craftspeople selected from 125 applicants. My piece was commissioned by Boston Borough Council, Lincolnshire. It was a response St. Mary’s Guildhall, Boston, and was made specifically for the empty niche on the west façade of the Guildhall. In my work, I produce ceramic figures which embody an emotional tension or uncertainty, where part of the emotion is introduced with reference to Christian imagery. The tension is achieved through combining certain abstractions of human form and shape with aspects of Christian symbols. The tension which this commission allowed was that created by locating a contemporary ceramic work in the niche of a thirteenth century guildhall. I based the composition on the Madonna and child relationship, since it was likely that the original figure in the niche was a Madonna and child. Its installation at approximately 4 metres above eye level gave it an imposing character. Further tensions within the figure were created between its terracotta colour and details picked out in gold lustre, such as the petals on the flowers offered by the child, and a small sculpture (held by the Madonna) of St. Boltolph’s Church, in the vicinity of the Guildhall.
St. Mary's Guildhall, Boston, Lincolnshire (permanent exhibit), pp.1
- Artistic Research