Stockwell at the Nightingale Museum
When the re-vamped Florence Nightingale museum opens this month, a new installation by artist Susan Stockwell will go on show alongside more traditional Lady of the Lamp exhibits
Simply called Bed Book, the installation is consists of an old Victorian brass bedstead covered with a mattress made out of thousands of scrolled book pages. From a distance it looks enticingly soft and delicately feminine, but it’s actually meant to represent the massive intellectual effort that Nightingale (who was bed-ridden for most of her post Crimea War life) put into her crusade to reform modern nursing. It’s edged with pages from her Notes on Nursing and Cecil Woodham Smith’s biography, but in a twist inside pages are taken from old Mills and Boon doctor and nurse romances.
Stockwell also has work on show at the Royal Geographical Society at the moment (until 2 July), where she and artist Agnes Poitevin-Navarre have been commissioned to make a series of work inspired by their vast collection of maps, atlases and photographs. Stockwell has produced a series of money maps – including one of Afghanistan made out of US dollars – as well as dress made out of currencies and maps questioning the role of Victorian women (and money) in the 19th century colonisation process.
More maps by Stockwell go on show at Iniva in their exhibition Who’s Map is It? New Maps by Artists opening on 2 June and she’s also exhibiting at Patrick Heide Contemporary Art from 20 May.