I’m turning up on the doorstep of Armagh Museum most weeks now to poke about in their FASCINATING vast collection and draw objects, hear stories and histories from Sean and Sarah, Don, John and Roy. Who sound like a 70s folk group when I see it written out.
For me, the most defining feature of working in the Museum is the cocoon of quiet I can sink into – it’s almost tactile – like ear velvet.
It creates a space that lets stories emerge from the objects I’m drawing
Drawing is a way of listening – when I’m observing and drawing a piece it’s a feeling akin to running my fingers over it and getting to know every edge, texture and contour. That process is contemplative too, so an inanimate object starts to come alive as I think about the roles it played in everyday lives and what meanings it may have held.
Since there is almost 30,000 items in the Museum collection, I had to impose a few rules on how I chose the pieces to work with – so I decided to work with an element of chance and intuition, a bit of maths and some time limitations. It’s all about bloody time isn’t it?
I gave myself 2 days to dig through the Accession Records in no particular order and make note of whatever items caught my eye.
Now I’m at the stage of getting those objects out of the store and drawing them – I’m doing that in groups of 3 – again randomly picked from my list of 75 (ish).
I like the idea of creating a relationship between 3 disparate objects. Playing around with three elements like building blocks – the beginning, middle and end of a story.
Residency Supported by Armagh County Museum and by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland