Wednesday, 31 March 2021

By pick axe and pine needle


Pick axes and pine needles

"Travelling Stories" work in progress
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery 2021

The “work in progress” side of the Travelling Stories project with Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is reaching its end and all sorts of treasures are turning up in my Inbox. Picking up thoughts from a couple of our artists….

Mark Johnson has been looking at a mixture of prints from the SLS collection (see end of post), picking up on lines of connection between North Wales and the Peak District…

In the second half of the nineteenth century a small band of Anglesey men made the journey from the island to the Peak District in search of work. Most were miners from the Copper Mountain of Parys near Amlych, but by no means all. 

They were lured by the promise of employment at the rapidly developing quarries of Cauldon Low, some twelve miles south of Buxton. Families followed, and for a few generations a small, often Welsh-speaking community made its home around the quarry, a few terraces – and a chapel.

Some returned but most never did, and lie buried in the churchyards of Cauldon and Cotton. 

Mark Johnson: 

first thoughts and ideas to work with

Helen Leaf starting with some of the Sami carvings that will stay in Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, wandered into a woodland of questions, including:

- what, if any, are the traditions embodied within the object?
- what has gone into the object that is seen/unseen?
- when working from ethnographic artefacts as a starting point, how does one work around the issue of cultural appropriation?

So, the object I've made relates to our forests here. There are also themes running through it about how we relate to our natural world/materials/resources (or not), and what is used or discarded.

And the image included is just a glimpse through the pine trees of the Helen’s finished piece

And finally, another tease from the Creeping Toad work which started with carvings and prints form the far north and, again, went for a wander, or maybe more of a wade and a walrus wallow....

All the finished work will feature in an online Gallery that we’ll start opening in the next week or two

Finished work from the project as a whole is coming in. A provocation has arrived from Australia; ceremonial canoe paddles inspired work for Bristol Museum; a thought, a dream and flowers from Cumbria. 

We called this project “Travelling Stories” as this sense of objects that have been carrying stories around the world for years really appealed. The objects in the Schools Library Service brought the stories of their homelands to the people of Derbyshire, inviting visitors to investigate – or speculate – on the stories behind the artefacts. Now, those objects and their stories are moving on again. Some pieces are following long wandering trails back to where they came from. Others are moving on to new homes, taking their stories with them and hopefully sharing those stories in different ways with new people.

Mark's work included the following painting by John "Kyffin" Williams as a starting point....The painting has now gone (or is going when cirucmstances allow it!) to Oriel Mon on Anglesey

1 comment:

  1. exciting stuff! Look forward to seeing what the wonderful line up of artists produce...