Friday 17 April 2020

Mini Curios

As 2019 drew to a close I began to reflect on my artwork of the past year and most importantly what I wanted 2020 to hold.
For a while I have been thinking about doing a long running series which highlights some of the amazing sights I have seen in museums and on my travels, specifically curiosities and the weird and wonderful little exhibits which can be easily overlooked by a passer by. I made notes in my 2019 diary about an idea for a ‘Mini Curios’ series, but the idea was in its infancy. As time has marched on I’ve been able to think the idea over in more depth and ultimately decided I wanted to run this series alongside my main artworks throughout 2020. Honestly, largely as an exercise of appreciation and celebration of the amazing inspiration I’ve been lucky enough to be constantly exposed to.

When I reflect on some of the amazing items I’ve seen over the years I feel very fortunate indeed. Pitt Rivers itself is a treasure trove of these amazing curios ranging from Amulets, charms and Wands, to pierced animal hearts, ex Voto and magical bottles. These items rich in folklore, superstition and magic speak of a little known past which through drawing I hope to uncover and delve into further. The Victor Wynd Cabinet of Curiosities is also a great source of the weird and wonderful in many forms. Many museums I have visited such as; The Ashmolean, The Fitzwilliam, The peatrie Museum, Grants Museum of Zoology, Museu Frederic Mares, The Natural History Museum and many others will likely feature in the series in some way, as will others which I am planning to visit in 2020, including the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic which has been on my hit list for a number of years now.

For many these small items may seem easy to miss, especially alongside larger, more visually impressive and imposing items. But through this project I hope to raise the profile of these smaller exhibits and shine a much deserved light on their fascinating history and unique place in culture.

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