I spent most of yesterday making various forms of ink which was really rewarding, I have always enjoyed making my own artist materials, it's a good way to really understand the media you are working with and it gives me thinking time to develop the project.
Unfortunately the afternoon did not go so well as, after curing a selection of feathers, I tried cutting the quill pens, which was tricky. However, the final disaster was trying to write with them, they were too weak - and my dogs kept stealing them!
Whilst doing a bit of research, to discover where I was going wrong, I found the quote below, which I think sums up perfectly my thoughts every time I look at the museum's manuscripts.
“What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."
[Carl Sagan. Cosmos, Part 11: The Persistence of Memory (1980)]”
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