Spent today morning looking at my dad’s old slides. He was quite the intrepid traveler before he retired and dabbled in amateur photography so I have some great source material. Plenty of images of African animals: gorillas, hyenas, elephants, flamingos, rhinos and even the odd leopard.

Experimenting with carbon paper, thinking maybe I can do something with it plus I really love the blue color. Carbon is fundamental to all living things and gets used in carbon dating so there’s a forensic connection. May try out the black carbon paper too. What I have so far, visually looks a bit like fossil impressions. If this works could turn into an accessible adult workshop, who knows, the possibilities are so exciting!!


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It has been a real struggle finding local glass working facilities. Having done an AA2A residency at De Montfort University Leicester in 2018 I  had hoped to work with their brilliant Glass Technician, Jill Ellinsworth again but unfortunately this would only be possible through academic further education courses. I then looked into Dudley College who offer access but on condition that individuals are experienced in working with hot glass.  Finally some good news, I had contacted Wolverhampton University last year and they say the short courses that were in the pipeline may well start this September! Not only that but apparently it is the international year of glass and the International Festival and Biennial of Glass is happening in Stourbridge!! After all the places I have looked at, Stourbridge is practically on my doorstep!


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Came across an old article on the ‘National Museum of Scotland’ using QR codes as a way of getting visitors to better access and engage with their collections. It got me thinking how I could somehow incorporate QR codes, especially since now they are everywhere and people are more used to interacting with them.

I have since discovered that you can generate them for free via certain websites and adapt their designs so they could almost act like a form of branding. Perhaps, I will use them to link to a personal project website or to link with UOB Plastics research. Another option is to use them on individual exhibition labels underneath my sculptures as a way of providing more information without detracting from the artwork.


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As there are so many great animals to choose from and research for potential connections, my choices are a bit random. I feel like I am spinning a wheel and waiting for the dial to stop on a particular species. Well yesterday that dial pointed me to a photograph of my grandmother with a squirrel monkey she had as a pet.

I have subsequently discovered that squirrel monkeys belong to a group of New World Monkeys. They have a very sophisticated communication system which can distinguish between species, subspecies and individuals. I am thinking that with further research verified by UOB scientists, there is a real possibility that I might be able to link squirrel monkeys and human speech.


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Seven bizarre animal facts that I don’t yet know what I’ll do with

  1. Each tiger has individual stripe patterns
  2. Tarsiers have eyes the same size as their brains
  3. A seals’ flipper resembles human fingers
  4. Corals are animals
  5. Cow urine is used to make paint Indian Yellow
  6. Limpets teeth (sea snail) are the strongest biological substance
  7. Kiwi feathers are like hair

Maybe I’ll compile these into an illustrated collection, who knows? Keep going and see what more I can find, it certainly is a wonderfully rich and varied world.


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Fruitful conversations and online research have lead to quite the reading list! I’ve begun “Museums in the Climate Emergency” by Steve Lyons and Kai Bosworth and by the time I finish that I believe I’ll have myself an argument or something that my project can challenge. I’m conscious that in wanting reaction and if possible action then I must avoid neutrality

Next on my recommended reading list will be “Curating the Future: Museums, Communities, and Climate Change” edited by  Jennifer Newell, Libby Robin and Kirsten Wehner.

Plus articles on how historic natural history collections can be used to educate on Climate Change. All this I’m sure will ensure that I’ll be well informed enough.

 

On a different topic I’ve ordered some practical books on Zine making, secondhand from Abe Books. I prefer to buy from Oxfam Bookshop but they didn’t have them in stock. I’m looking forward to their arrival by post.

“Make a Zine!: Start Your Own Underground Publishing Revolution” by Joe Biel and

“Watcha Mean, What’s a Zine? : The Art of Making Zines & Mini Comics” by Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson.

Good job I’m a bookworm :)


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