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Whispers from the Walls - part 1 - where it started

Updated: Apr 14

If you follow my portraiture work you might not know that I have a fascination with the history of material culture, particularly within a domestic setting. That's a fancy way for saying I like old stuff, vintage and antique furniture, clothes, textiles etc. I love a museum, have a soft spot (although have never actually taken part in) a re-enactment, adore a good car boot sale (especially a house clearance stall), have an obsession with old photographs and my home is full of things passed down from previous generations of my family on both sides.

So I have been thinking for while about ways I can bring this interest and my art practice together and I've been working on a few things, one of which I am ready to share.

Last year, shortly after moving to Lincolnshire, I met Dr Lynda Skipper, a senior lecturer in Conservation of Cultural Heritage at the University of Lincoln and was very excited to hear that one of her specialisms is historic wall paper. I was even more excited when she told me that her department has an archive of wallpapers that I could go and look at.

These are few of the photos I took on my first visit to their archives and I can't tell you how giddy I was thinking about the creative possibilities they presented. So beautiful and intriguing, little mysterious glimpses into the lives of people in the past.

I was even more excited when Lynda told me that she was taking part in the Pint of Science Festival where scientists share their research with the public outside the usual academic setting.

Often in a pub!

And there is an accompanying project, Creative Reactions, which brings artists and scientists together.

Would I like to be paired with her?

Yes please!!!

So I was able to visit the archives again, hear more about Lynda's research and went on to create some work inspired by my findings. I shall tell you more about all that in my next post.

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