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Bantock House Museum - Georgian Enamels: Piecing together a new narrative

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About this project

Wolverhampton Council’s collection of Georgian enamel objects is one of the most revered in the UK, the best being on permanent display in the city. The project, a collaboration with Bantock House Museum supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England in 2015, focused on celebrating fragments of incomplete and damaged enamels held in the museum store. By including these in new contemporary craft work their potential for telling contemporary narratives was explored.

Keywords

Enamel, Narrative, Satire, Museum collection interpretation, Audience participation

Disciplines

Metal work, Automata

Materials

Metal
#Chaterama
Photographer: Dan Haworth-Salter
Responding to a pair of eighteenth century enamel finches from the Wolverhampton collection, #Chaterama reimagines that these two objects are the remnants of a Georgian 'social media' device. Five new 'twittering' birds are incorporated into the brass automata, each are lifted as the handle is turned to reveal a message hidden beneath. Materials – New vitreous enamel, brass and Wolverhampton collection enamel birds EM238 and EM239.
#Chaterama (section)
Photographer: Dan Haworth-Salter
Tinderbox
Photographer: Dan Haworth-Salter
Making parallels between today’s and the Georgian’s obsession with voyeurism, Tinderbox is a response to an 18th century enamel disc depicting a courting couple, re-envisaged as the remains of a 1700’s ‘gentleman’s amusement’. The exterior of the object is decorated with imagery appropriated from historic enamels, which have been ‘contemporised’ with text speak to illustrate the couple’s relationship. Materials – New vitreous enamel, brass and Wolverhampton collection enamel EM294.
Tinderbox
Photographer: Dan Haworth-Salter
Inside Tinderbox reveals a ‘saucy tableaux’, the user pulls the button of the device, lifting the historic lid to reveal a young lady beneath. Here an eighteenth century enamel print of an actress has been modified using Photoshop, turning the button reveals to the viewer the lady in increasing states of undress!
Voyeur Viewer
Photographer: Dan Haworth-Salter
Companion piece to Tinderbox.

Previous project

The Brexiteer and La Brexiteuse - Digital Satirical Automata

Disciplines Automata, Metal work
Materials Metal

Next project

Unravelled Arts - Unravelling the Vyne: Gate Gate

Disciplines Automata, Metal work
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