,One of the things I am discovering in this research phase, is how difficult life could be for the poor. There is a beautiful display on the top floor of the museum with many fascinating copies of some of the old documents held by The Axbridge & District Museum Trust.
Included here are a couple of examples of how hard life was for the poor (to give you a valuable tip it helps to replace the f for an s as in 'affect', shown above which of course is assent.
I know it's not good to gloat but I wanted to share photos from my daily commute with you - sorry. I am aware that this isn't strictly a post about my project but I like to think you may benefit from the views anyway.
Having narrowed down my research I spent a very energetic half an hour working on a mind map for the project. I always feel that this method of emptying your thoughts is really important in the creative process and its strange to see how things you were thinking about link up. I thought I would share my very messy mind map with you so you can get and idea of some of the methods I use in my research.
I have spent many hours looking at, thinking about and generally trying to work out what direction this project will take. The main problem is that the Museum, and its Volunteers hold such an enormous wealth of information that it becomes almost impossible to choose one part of the collection and focus only on that.
During my pondering I have also spent quite a long time looking at a little stained glass window, halfway up the winding staircase. It is very hard to photograph, partially due to the bars in front but also due to the combination of my clumsy nature and the stairs
During one of my thinking sessions I decided to use the trusty services of google translate to work out what the inscription 'Dum Spiro Spero' means and it was like a key unlocking the puzzle 'While I Breathe, I hope'. It amazing how the words convey so much more meaning and I feel that is the key to unlocking the Museum's collection - the words; the stories they contain, the lives they touch and the knowledge they hold. The Museum and its collection is full of them, many of the documents are hundreds of years old and extremely fragile yet so important to the area.
As an Artist I have a slight fascination with words and stories and it seems they have featured in much of my work. I still can't quite believe how lucky I am to have this job and now it seems that I can use the time to really look at the traditional crafts used to create many of the museums documents and maybe share a few of the stories with you.
I wanted to take a bit of your time to introduce you to the Museum which, interestingly goes by a couple of different names; Axbridge and District Museum and King John's Hunting Lodge. I am reliably informed by the Museums experts that the building has no actual links to King John but I did want to share a few images of the building which, King or not, is still worthy of a visit.
I am very happy to tell you that I have been appointed as Axbridge & District Museum's resident artist for the Summer. The project runs in the Museum until October 2017 and will form part of Somerset Art Weeks.
This blog will form part of my project and I will be posting about my progress and hopefully adding a few tutorials which I hope you will find interesting.
The work created for the Muse project will remain in the Museum until 31st October and can be seen from 1pm-4pm daily.
Andrea Oke is a Somerset based artist who is fascinated by human behaviour and its links to memory. For more information please to to my website