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.
20/8/17 workshop in the Museum
23 Sept - 8th October Somerset Arts Weeks - The Museum will host an exhibition of this project
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