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Leverhulme Artist in Residence University of Northumbria 2017-18

 

Installation of Photographs and  materials from the archives of the Natural History Society of Northumbria in the library of The Great North Museum Hancock. 

From Kindness - Digital video, 12.25 mins  Link

Incorporating footage of the book repair group, interviews and archival texts.

A Brief Compendium of Named and Unnamed Objects - Paper, card, cloth, 176 hours. 

Handmade book made in collaboration with the volunteer book repair group and donated to the libraries of the Lit and Phil and the Natural History Society of Northumbria. 

 

More info

Over a period of ten months I worked  in collaboration with social scientist Dr Siobhan Daly looking at the places and ideas which have defined philanthropic activity in the North East. My work responded to Siobhan's writing on Philanthropy and the Big Society and Philanthropy as a Contested Concept. drawing on questions around the definitions of philanthropy, which included concepts such as 'work for the public good' and notions of visibility and invisibility, gifts of time versus gifts of money,  to think about how our civic and educational spaces are constructed and maintained. This project developed out of earlier work looking at changes to public space as a result of cuts to public funding (For the Elevation of Man) where I had found that many of the assets now owned by the state ( and now being sold off or neglected) had originally been philanthropic gifts. The work aims to reflect on what I think are huge changes happening in our cities in regard to public life and public space and to think about what these spaces mean to us and to the people who maintain them.

 

I would particularly like to thank the volunteer book repair group based at the Literary and Philosophical Society Newcastle, whose work features in the film and who taught me to make books for the project and also June Holmes archivist at the Natural History Society of Northumbria for sharing her extensive knowledge of the society's archives and collections. This project has been supported by the Leverhulme Trust.