Hannah's Work at the Bowes Museum


If you follow us on social media, you’ll know that during the summer Hannah has been working on a very exciting project… and this project has finally reached it’s completion!

Yesterday, Hannah travelled over the moors with her car packed with all sorts of things - including one very big thing - to deliver her work for a wonderful exhibition which opens next week at the Bowes Museum.

We’ll be writing a series of blog posts about Hannah’s work and about the exhibition. This first post is all about the background…

Introduction 

In spring 2018, The Bowes Centre, in collaboration with The Bowes Museum and Durham Creatives, invited proposals from artists and makers to investigate the Museum, its collection, building and immediate environment. This open-call was specifically designed to encourage the expression of experimental and developmental practice. Over 230 artists applied.  Ten were selected.  These are now collectively known as #Untitled10.

The Open Call 

The Bowes Museum is a nationally important decorative and fine arts collection, housed in an imposing building which opened 1892.  The building, park and its collection were the philanthropic vison of founders John and Joséphine Bowes.

Bowes houses over 15,000 founders’ objects.  Almost every object is a finished work.  Each has a story to be told.  The #Untitled10 challenge was using Bowes as inspiration, to communicate the creative process that lies behind all work.  Central to the commission was there should be no finished work; only process.

Artists responded to individual objects in the collections at Bowes, to associated objects such as the monkey-puzzle tree and the sense of physical and emotional historic space, all connected by John and Joséphine Bowes’ bitter-sweet story.

Throughout the summer of 2018, #Untitled10 developed their projects and now tell their personal and professional journeys, of materials, making or manufacture, of creativity, experimentation and development, of failure and success.

I see museums as theatres for objects, which is to say that most pieces displayed within them are clean, shiny, finished, perfect. I seek to show that creative developmental processes have a great deal in common with everyday ways of living and working, which similarly include experimentation, error, repeat practice, dust, noise and mess. In response to the solid silver figure of Sappho, and with particular reference to Cellini’s breezy quote on the gallery wall nearby, I taught myself the traditional technique of sand-casting over the summer of 2018. My work for the Bowes Museum documents reflective, creative and practical processes.
— Hannah on #Untitled10

The exhibition runs from Friday 9th November 2018 – Friday 11th January 2019, at the Bowes Museum in County Durham.

The fabulous chateau-inspired architecture of the Bowes Museum in the market town of Barnard Castle, County Durham, in the wintery afternoon light of delivery day.

The fabulous chateau-inspired architecture of the Bowes Museum in the market town of Barnard Castle, County Durham, in the wintery afternoon light of delivery day.