|Exhibition in the Artists' Books Study
Area at the Library
School of Art, Media and Design, UWE Bristol:
22nd August - 25th September
The ways in which history is preserved has always fascinated me. In particular, houses that have been transformed into museums dedicated to the life of a famous occupant.
In 2002 I published National Heritage Revisited, a collection of books that examined these museums. I wanted to question our expectations when we visit them and the reliability of items on display. Books in this series include: The Dining Room, a book of photographs taken over two weeks in a diorama at Flamsteed House, which records the subtle movement of objects in the seemingly static museum environment; Great Men’s Houses, a series of nine anthologies of objects that can be commonly found, but often overlooked, in ‘great’ men’s houses, ranging from their crockery to their skirting boards.
The mixture of history and the domestic characterise my work. My books try to peer inside the cupboards and places that the public aren’t allowed to see, delve into the hidden private spaces of historic properties, open drawers and look under beds when the attendant is not looking.
In 2004, I made the Sherborne House Inventory, a complete list of the contents of the house. Sherborne House had been neglected for many years, and the evidence of its previous lives was everywhere. With its restoration immanent, I was keen to capture and record the house in its limbo state.
In making the inventory, I enjoyed the obsessive recording of information, and have recently produced the book Kitchen Cupboards, a list of the contents of six peoples’ food cupboards.